Sabah Umno-Warisan pact is ‘almost certain’

AN ALLIANCE between Warisan and Umno for the Sabah state elections is “almost a certainty”, according to a state Umno leader.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said negotiations were held with all parties, including Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah, which is led by chief minister Hajiji Noor.

The potential Umno-Warisan partnership is in the works despite Sabah Umno deputy chief Rahman Dahlan reportedly saying that there had yet to be a decision on any electoral pact.

The source added that these talks were in line with the state and central Umno leaderships’ decision for early discussions to be held with all parties. However, he said, only Warisan agreed to Umno’s requests under the electoral pact.

“Warisan agreed to our requests and additional conditions,” he told FMT, without divulging details on the requests or conditions.

He said Sabah Umno can decide on the matter as it had been given autonomy to do so by the party’s general assembly in 2018, though the matter will still be discussed by the central leadership first.

“(But) we will use (our autonomy) if necessary.”

During Warisan’s general assembly earlier this month, its president Shafie Apdal claimed that they will be working with Sabah Umno for the next state election.

However, Rahman denied the claim, saying the Sabah Umno leadership was still engaging with all parties on possible partnerships for the state polls.

The term of the current Sabah government will expire in October 2025, but Hajiji has hinted at the possibility of the next state election being held as early as next year.

Shafie and Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin previously attempted to topple Hajiji’s government in January.

The move failed to materialise after six Sabah Umno assemblymen refused to lend their support. Hajiji then obtained the support of Sabah Pakatan Harapan, enabling the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition to remain in power, while Bung and several others were booted from the state Cabinet.