WHEN 41 CAN BECOME JUST 34 – MUHYIDDIN STARTS TO SWEAT: HEATED POW-WOWS, CLAIMS OF HAVING ’41 REPS’ BUT STILL FIGHTING OVER CM POST – EVEN AS ‘7 SEATS’ PBS, DESPTE DENIAL, STILL NOT JOINING THEIR MEETINGS

A high-powered meeting of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) leaders at the Magellan Sutera Hotel in Kota Kinabalu has revealed that PN, BN, and their allies now have 41 seats and want their candidate to be sworn-in as chief minister today.

However, a party source told Malaysiakini that as of noon today, the coalition leaders have yet to confirm their candidate.

Sabah Umno leader Bung Moktar Radin has been spotted at the hotel and has only just walked into the meeting, accompanied by Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.

Earlier Umno was being represented by party vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Meanwhile, the source also told Malaysiakini that in addition to the 38 seats secured by GRS in last night’s election, the three independents elected will also lend their support to the new government, giving it a 41-32 majority over the rival Warisan Plus coalition of outgoing chief minister Shafie Apdal.

The three independents elected are Rubin Balang (Kemabong), Ruddy Awah (Pitas), and Masiung Banah (Kuamut).

Parti Bersatu Sabah, which had seven assemblypersons elected is not believed to be attending the meeting but has just issued a statement denying that it will team up with Shafie’s coalition.

Meanwhile BN secretary-general Annuar Musa said on Twitter that all 41 assemblypersons of “GRS Plus” met for the first time today.

“The heads of Umno, Bersatu and PBS will meet the Governor today as well, Insyaallah,” he added.

The meeting was put on hold as participants broke for lunch at 1pm. PN leaders led by Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin got up and left, leaving BN leaders in the meeting room.

Hamzah was reportedly grim and unsmiling, and his group is now said to be having lunch in a separate room from BN leaders.

PBS denies joining forces with Warisan to form Sabah govt

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has denied allegations that it is joining forces with Warisan Plus to form the new state government.

In the state polls concluded yesterday, Warisan and its allies won 32 state seats out of 73, which is still short of five seats needed to return to power.

In a statement today, PBS reiterated its position to remain as an ally of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), which won 38 seats.

“PBS would like to categorically deny claims that it is joining forces with the Warisan Plus to form the government,” said party information chief Joniston Bankuai.

“PBS, as an equal partner in Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, remains firm with its allies – Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Barisan Nasional,” added Joniston, who defeated former state deputy chief minister Madius Tangau in Kiulu.

GRS won a total of 38 seats with Bersatu-led PN securing 17 seats, Umno-led BN bagging 14 seats while PBS won seven.

Despite its pledge to be with its PN parties, which included Sabah Star and Bersatu, PBS party leaders were absent from an event which saw GRS leaders gathered to wait for the state polls results.

It immediately raised concern over the relationship between GRS allies, particularly when Bersatu and BN are vying for the chief minister’s post.

MKINI

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