Umno man proposes Salleh as Sabah deadlock-breaker

Bung Moktar Radin and Hajiji Noor went to Istana Negeri today to meet the governor over the formation of a new state government.

PETALING JAYA: With Sabah coalition leaders in a deadlock over which of them should become the state’s new chief minister, a former CM’s name has been put forward as a deadlock-breaker.

Lokman Noor Adam, a former member of Umno’s Supreme Council, said the new Usukan assemblyman, Salleh Said Keruak, was the best candidate among the newly-elected assembly members.

He said Salleh had enough experience to take on the post, as he was formerly the chief minister and had also been a federal minister.

Leaders of the two largest Sabah coalitions have failed to agree on their nominee for the chief ministership after Gabungan Rakyat Sabah secured 38 seats for a simple majority in the state assembly.

Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Bung Moktar Radin and state PPBM chief Hajiji Noor have been proposed as candidates.

However, Governor Juhar Mahiruddin has yet to decide on which person will be invited to form a new state government. The state constitution empowers him to choose the person who, in his opinion, commands a majority in the house.

The former ruling coalition of Warisan and allies won 30 seats. Warisan president Shafie Apdal has contended that his party has the largest number of seats in the state assembly.

Salleh, who contested in Usukan on a BN ticket, had recently rejoined Umno after losing the Kota Belud parliamentary seat at the 2018 general elections.

Salleh applied to PKR in October 2019 but retracted his application in June this year. He said last week: “I admit, I made a mistake. I am sorry. When I was outside the party, I felt lonely. I realised wherever I went, BN never disappeared from my heart.”