KOTA KINABALU, Sept 12 — Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s assurances of a united Gabungan Rakyat Sabah earlier today have evaporated after allied parties were confirmed to be challenging one another in 17 seats for the state election.
The GRS is a coalition comprising PN, Barisan Nasional and local Sabah Opposition parties that were cobbled together to jointly challenge the ruling Warisan Plus pact.
At the end of nomination this morning, it was confirmed that GRS parties will face off against their own allies in nearly a quarter of the 73 seats up for contest, which would split their support against Warisan Plus that avoided overlaps.
The dispute over 11 seats that BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday purported had been resolved yesterday following Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s intervention remained unresolved as of noon.
Instead of abating, however, the clashes instead grew as Parti Bersatu Sabah that is in the GRS expanded its claim from 15 seats announced previously to 22.
Completely ignoring the truce that Muhyiddin ostensibly brokered yesterday, the local party unexpectedly fielded candidates in Paginatan, Lumadan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Tulid, Moyog, and Liawan.
This put three GRS parties on a collision course in Paginatan and Tulid, caused clashes between PBS and BN parties in 10 seats, and between the local party and PN parties in six.
Muhyiddin flew into Sabah early Friday and met with party leaders, during which he advised them to resolve their differences.
Rivals have seized on the disarray within the GRS camp, questioning how such a fractured coalition would be able to lead the state.
Voting for the Sabah election is on September 26.