KOTA KINABALU – Sabah voters took only nine hours and 30 minutes to elect 73 individuals to represent them in the State Assembly and the party they preferred to form the new state government in the state election yesterday.
But after 24 hours, there was still no decision on who will be appointed as the new Sabah Chief Minister.
Many know that the ball is now in the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) court as the newly-formed coalition comprising Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) and PBS, had successfully secured 38 seats, surpassing the required 37 seats to get a simple majority to form the new government.
On the other side of political divide, Warisan Plus consisting of Warisan, DAP, PKR and UPKO garnered 32 seats while Independent three seats.
Sabah PN chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor, Sabah BN chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and PBS secretary-general Datuk Jahid Jahim were granted an audience with Yang Dipertua Negeri Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana Negeri, here at about 3pm.
Soon after the meeting, Bung Moktar, who won the new Lamag seat, said Tun Juhar had asked for time to decide the candidate to be appointed as the new chief minister.
When asked how long will the decision be made, Bung Moktar said, “as soon as possible.”
Earlier, the four leaders had a meeting at a hotel before proceeding to Istana Negeri and returned for another meeting at the same hotel after the audience at the palace.
The unofficial results on which coalition has the number to form the new government came at about 9 pm yesterday but the official results were announced two hours later.
There was a lively atmosphere and cheers of joy at the GRS camp last night, while a gloomy atmosphere was evident at the Warisan Plus camp.
Sabahans woke up this morning to much confusions when it was circulated in the social media that PBS with seven seats had allegedly jumped ship and joined Warisan Plus to form the new government.
With seven seats, PBS could be the kingmaker as whichever coalition it chooses to join can be the state government.
GRS will be left with 31 seats if PBS left the group, while Warisan Plus will have 39 seats if PBS chose to join in.
PBS information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, however, had cleared the air by coming up with a statement categorically denied such claims.