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Sabah PH may sign MoU with GRS for political stability
Published on: Saturday, October 23, 2021
By: FMT
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Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau said PH had initiated the plan following the MoU signed at the federal level in September to ensure priority to fighting Covid-19 and economic recovery. (Bernama pic)
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders will meet tonight to discuss plans whether to sign an agreement with the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state government, similar to the one between PH and the federal government.

Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau said PH had initiated this plan following the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at the federal level in September.

He said PH leaders, including DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, had met up with Warisan president Shafie Apdal, as a matter of courtesy to the Sabah opposition leader, to see if his party was interested in being part of the MoU, which it had rejected at the federal level.

“However, he was not keen and declined the offer,” the Tuaran MP told FMT.

“So, tonight, Sabah PH leaders will discuss whether to proceed with the MoU under the current circumstances.”

Tangau was commenting on a report by the Daily Express which claimed PH was expected to sign an MoU with GRS soon to establish bipartisan cooperation in order to achieve political stability in the state.

Quoting an unnamed top PH leader, the daily further said the MoU would be almost similar to the one signed by PH, comprising PKR, DAP, Amanah and Upko, and the federal government last month.

Speaking to FMT, Tangau said it was inaccurate to say Sabah PH had agreed to sign the agreement as talks were still ongoing.

“What I can tell you is that we’ve already confirmed the terms under the MoU. Lim has seen chief minister Hajiji Noor and he is keen to discuss further,” he said.

The former Sabah deputy chief minister, however, declined to disclose what these terms were but said these would be tailored to suit the state, adding “the spirit is the same (as with the federal MoU) but the terms are different”.

To a question over a potential backlash from Sabahans, particularly from their own supporters, Tangau said the MoU was needed for political stability in order to effectively address issues pertaining to economic recovery from Covid-19.

“But when you go for political stability, there will be a need for reforms. So, if the reforms we are asking for are mutually agreed upon, then why not?”

However, he said Sabah PH would continue to provide a check-and-balance to the government as part of its responsibility as the opposition in the state.

FMT also reached out to Sabah PH chief Christina Liew over the potential MoU with GRS but she declined to comment for now.

The federal government and PH signed the MoU on “political stability and transformation” on the basis that they agreed to work together to restore political stability to enable the government to manage the Covid-19 pandemic effectively and help bolster economic recovery.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said the MoU covered six key areas, ranging from strengthening the plan to combat Covid-19 and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) to the independence of the judiciary.

It will also involve parliamentary reforms, a transformation of the government and the formation of a steering committee for the MoU.

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