SABAH POLLS | 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 2pm today, the coalition leaders have yet to confirm their candidate.
Sabah Umno leader Bung Moktar Radin joined the meeting late and was accompanied by the party's secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.
The party was also represented by vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, while others present included Sabah Bersatu chief Hajiji Mohd Noor, Star president Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah Bersatu deputy Masidi Manjun and Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin.
Hajiji and Umno's Bung are among the names being speculated as possible chief ministerial candidates. Once a candidate is decided, the coalition leaders intend to go to the palace of Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin for the swearing-in ceremony.
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 would 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 represented the meeting by its leaders 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 the 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 had lunch in a separate room from BN leaders.
At 2pm, Hajiji and Masidi left the meeting.
Hajiji said that he was not willing to comment but was done with discussions and would issue a statement later.