KOTA KINABALU: With less than two days until Malaysia's 15th General Election (GE15), major political parties in Sabah are making last ditch efforts to shore up support among the state’s voters, particularly those in interior constituencies.
Malaysian media reported Sabah chief minister who is also Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman, Hajiji Noor and Parti Warisan (Warisan) president Shafie Apdal are making visits to constituencies such as Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan, which have majority Kadazandusun Murut voters.
On Thursday (Nov 17), Mr Hajiji campaigned in Keningau for Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan and in Tenom for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate Jamawi Jaafar.
Both candidates are facing multi-cornered fights with their opponents including candidates from Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Warisan.
GRS comprises Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), STAR, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), United Sabah National Organisation (USNO) and the Sabah branch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu Sabah).
In GE15, GRS is also teaming up with BN to contest all the 25 federal seats in the state. GRS is contesting in 13 seats, while BN in 12 seats.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Hajiji said that he is confident that the GRS-BN alliance can win 15 out of 25 seats contested.
He said the GRS-BN’s Sabah state government emphasised development and unity as these were the foundations of the state's progress and stability
Mr Hajiji was responding to caretaker prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who had asked that the GRS-BN coalition reach its target of winning at least 15 parliamentary seats in Sabah, given the close cooperation among its component parties.
Speaking at an event in Sandakan on Tuesday, Mr Ismail Sabri said that Sabah would play a significant role in helping to form the new federal government in Putrajaya.
Meanwhile, Mr Shafie Apdal who has also been campaigning for Warisan’s candidates in the interior constituencies of Sabah, said that his party wants to drive home the message that it cares for the people’s well-being.
“What is important for us is that we have been consistently fighting for their rights, not only Sabah rights but the right of the people to own land as well,” said Mr Shafie as quoted as saying by the Star.
“It’s not merely lip service because we did it and we will continue doing it,” he added.
In this general election, Warisan is fielding 52 candidates, 25 in Sabah and 27 in Peninsula Malaysia.
On Monday, Mr Shafie called for voters in Sabah and Sarawak to vote for local parties, instead of peninsula-based parties, so that the so-called Borneo bloc could be formed in the Malaysian parliament.
He said such a bloc, made up of MPs from local parties in Sabah and Sarawak, is possible with Warisan and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) working together to create it.
Mr Shafie, however, said that so far there is no formal talks between Warisan and GPS on the matter.