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Sabah STAR-PBS pact doesn’t undermine GRS

Datuk Hajiji Noor fully supported the initiative says Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

KOTA KINABALU: A deal between native-based Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Sabah STAR to work together for non-Muslim seats does not pose a threat to Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) or its other component parties.

PBS deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam said that signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) would only strengthen the GRS coalition in the next state election.

He said that both PBS and Sabah STAR had a total of 13 incumbent seats which would not be negotiable and they would respect Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (Gagasan Rakyat) incumbents’ position in the non-Muslim native seats in any negotiations.

“We are studying the possible seats. Of course, being with GRS, we have to know that certain seats are already being held by Gagasan Rakyat.

“Basically, the 13 seats that we have at the moment are considered non-negotiable, the rest we will discuss,” he added.

“I want to stress that our aim is actually for the victory of GRS as a whole. We have to emphasise this.

“We do not pose a threat to any of the GRS component parties especially Gagasan Rakyat in (non-Muslim native seats),” he told reporters after signing the MOU with Sabah STAR.

Jeffrey said that the GRS chairman Datuk Hajiji Noor fully supported the initiative by PBS and Sabah STAR as it was good for the coalition.

“It would be discussed in due time under the joint council,” Kitingan responded when asked how many of the 23 non-Muslim native seats they were eyeing.

Dr Gunsalam said that the MOU was to strengthen political collaboration and cooperation between Sabah STAR and PBS.

“We also aim to work together in solving the main issues and interests affecting the people of Sabah,” he said, adding that the parties hope to work together from the top level to the grassroots.

“This (MOU) is just the beginning. As we go on the ground, there will be more…once we set up the joint council then we can have more measures to strengthen the relations,” he said.

Both leaders said the question of both parties merging was not immediately on the agenda as they had to work on cooperation and unity first at all levels.

Their key focus was on pushing the state’s agenda under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and other state issues. – STAR

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