The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah alliance today unanimously agreed on Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Hajiji Noor as its chief minister candidate.
Hajiji, who is the Sulaman assemblyman, made the announcement at a press conference today at the Magellan Sutera Resort.
“Yes, GRS has unanimously picked me as the chief minister,” he said to loud applause from supporters.
Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) today agreed to pick Sabah Perikatan Nasional chief Hajiji Noor as their chief minister candidate.
Hajiji, who is the state PPBM chief and newly elected Sulaman assemblyman, disclosed this at a press conference here.
Also present was Sabah Barisan Nasional chief Bung Moktar Radin, who was earlier said to be the second contender for the post.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after leaders of GRS had been at a stalemate following a day of negotiations with Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin to select a chief minister.
“We were told the swearing-in will be held tomorrow morning,” he said when asked whether the Istana has confirmed the ceremony.
“I think we will only go tomorrow morning. No need to go again today,” he said.
State Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, who was said to also be in the running for the position, conceded that the compromise was needed for the greater good of the coalition.
“I believe after this, Hajiji as the new chief minister will be sworn-in and we can start work again to ensure the rakyat will receive the attention they need,” he said.
The informal GRS had been deadlocked for 36 hours following the results of the 16th State Polls that came in just before midnight on September 26.
GRS’s three components — PN, BN and PBS — collectively won 38 seats while the Warisan Plus coalition and its allies won 32 seats; three independents were also voted in.
The tussle over the CM’s post left the state waiting to find out the identity of the leader who will govern the state for the next five years.
Today, Hajiji thanked the people for the mandate and said he would do his best to fulfil the aspirations of the people in accordance with the GRS manifesto.
“We will do our best to ensure Sabah moves forward and gets to protect the people’s interests. We will do our best to fulfil the responsibility bestowed upon us,” he said.
“GRS, comprising PN, BN and PBS, has agreed to form the new state government.
“We were informed that the swearing-in will be done tomorrow morning. This is the people’s mandate to us.”
Bung indicated the coalition’s approval, by adressing Hajiji as “Yang Amat Berhormat (YAB) Datuk Seri Hajiji”, to cheers from the crowd.
“We have come to an agreement on the realisation that this new government to be formed would be able to heal the spirit of the people which was lost because of the previous government,” the newly elected Lamag assemblyman said.
He said the incoming government had a big responsibility ahead of it, “but I’m confident after our YAB takes his oath, we will begin (implementing) these measures.”
Asked about his Cabinet line-up, including who his deputy chief minister would be, Hajiji said the important thing was to get sworn in first.
“It’s a secret (the Cabinet line-up),” he said.
He said the incoming government would get cracking on delivering its “Aku Janji” manifesto launched during the election campaign.