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Gabungan Sabah to be spearheaded by PBS: Max

KOTA KINABALU: Efforts to formalise the State's new coalition, Gabungan Bersatu, an association of like-minded Sabah political parties will begin with the parties' elected assemblymen and members of parliaments, said Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili in a statement, Tuesday. He said the core struggle of the coalition is to promote dignified political unity and cooperation to ensure the development needs of Sabah are served, political and territorial sovereignty is protected, and their rights in the federation as contained the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) are defended and safeguarded.

"As announced by PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan on June 12, the Gabungan Bersatu coalition will be spearheaded by PBS as it has the largest number of YBs and is the oldest political party in Sabah.

"The proposed framework and constitution are being drafted, and the component parties will finalise before it is submitted for registration," he said.

Maximus also denied a report, that purportedly quoted PBS Sec-General Datuk Johnny Mositun, that the 19 assemblymen of the Musa-led government sworn in today had left the coalition.

"This is fake news!" stressed Maximus.

On Sarawak's exit from Barisan Nasional (BN) to form a new coalition called Gabungan Sarawak as announced by PBB president and Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, he said PBS congratulates them and welcomes the new development.

"We wish them the very best on the new endeavour and fully support their stand to safeguard State rights as contained in the MA63, and pursue power devolution commitments made by the Federal Government led by the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"PBS has already commenced communication with the Gabungan Sarawak leaders to establish a common front and platform in parliament on these issues," said Maximus.

He said the party will pursue a formal discussion with Gabungan Sarawak and establish a strategic link for PBS and Gabungan Bersatu.

"We believe that these political collaboration and strategic alliances will dawn a new era in the East Malaysian politics, and secure back the political bargain and agreed conditions enshrined in the MA63," he said.- Daily Express

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