Sabah coup attempt not over yet, says Zahid Hamidi

(FMT) – Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says he still supported efforts to formulate a unity government in Sabah, despite chief minister Hajiji Noor having reshuffled the state Cabinet.

Zahid said this must be done to stabilise the political situation in Sabah before the upcoming state elections in six states in the peninsular.

“I reckon that the unity government model used for Putrajaya should be modified in Sabah according to its political landscape.

“I also think the cooling period in Sabah has to be addressed properly,” he said in an interview with The Star.

Sabah fell into a political crisis on Jan 6 after state Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin announced that its assemblymen were retracting their support for Hajiji as chief minister for allegedly infringing the terms of a political agreement between them after the 2020 Sabah state elections.

However, Hajiji claimed he still had the majority in the state assembly with the support of five of the 17 Sabah Umno assemblymen and seven from Sabah Pakatan Harapan.

On Tuesday, he reshuffled the state Cabinet, dropping Bung, and two other Sabah Umno leaders, Jafry Ariffin and Yakub Khan, from the line-up.

Bung’s position as deputy chief minister and state works minister was given to one of the five Umno assemblymen who backed Hajiji.

On whether Sabah Umno will reconcile following the political crisis, Zahid assured that the state’s chapter remains intact, but they must work out their differences in terms of their stance.