PETALING JAYA, Sept 28: With Sabah coalition leaders in a deadlock over the formation of a new state government, former prime minister Najib Razak has urged the newly-elected legislators to reconcile, regardless of political ideology.

This was not the time to argue or celebrate victory, he said, in the wake of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) securing 38 seats for a simple majority in the assembly.

However, coalition leaders have not agreed on their candidate for the chief minister’s post. It is understood that Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) have proposed Bung Moktar Radin, and Perikatan Nasional (PN) proposed Hajiji Noor.

Najib said Sabah was currently in a bad state and there was a lot of work that needed to be done. “We have work to do and we need to act fast to save Sabah,” he said in a Facebook posting.

He said the transition to a new state administration should not be delayed any longer.

Referring to the former ruling coalition led by Warisan, which held power from 2018, Najib said that “for two consecutive years, Sabah’s economy and development came to a halt”. He added that many Sabahans had lost their jobs.

At the state assembly elections yesterday, Warisan won 29 seats, PN 17, BN 14, PBS 3, independent candidates 3, PKR 2 and Upko 1.

However, the GRS coalition, comprising PN, BN and Parti Bersatu Sabah declared victory after having secured a total of 38 seats among them. One of the three independent candidates later announced support for PN.

Warisan and its allies PKR and Upko have a total of 32 seats.

A simple majority of 37 seats in the 73-member state assembly is required to form a state government.

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