KOTA KINABALU: Gabungan Rakyat Sabah is ready to take on the Tuaran parliamentary seat held by Opposition Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who heads the ruling GRS state coalition, said the coalition’s parties have gained more strength in the Tuaran constituency and have been forming new branches there.
“It is a clear sign that we are getting in to position to win the seat,” he told delegates at the Tuaran Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) meeting on Sunday (Nov 28).
He said that Muslim bumiputera and non-Muslim bumiputera parties under GRS have been strengthening their positions within the constituency where ethnic Bajau and Kadazandusun make up the main electorate.
The Tuaran constituency has four state seats – with Bersatu holding Sulaman, Sabah Umno is incumbent in Pantai Dalit while Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) holds the remaining two seats of Kiulu and Tamparuli.
“Many are applying to become members and open new branches. In Tuaran, Bersatu has opened 350 new branches. It clear that the people are subscribing to the political aspirations of the party.
“I am confident that with such support coming in, GRS will be able to win the Tuaran parliament seat,” he added.
However, he said that the choice of a suitable candidate for the Tuaran parliamentary constituency would be decided by GRS parties when the time comes.
Madius won the Tuaran seat under Barisan Nasional in 2018 general election. Upko pulled out of Barisan to forge an alliance with Parti Warisan Sabah led by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal who managed to oust the state Barisan government of Tan Sri Musa Aman.
However, Warisan and its partners Upko and Pakatan Harapan lost grip on the state government following the Sept 2020 snap Sabah elections with Hajiji leading the 10-party GRS coalition to victory.
Upko has taken a fresh direction to become a member of the national opposition Pakatan.
At the division meeting, Hajiji received membership applications from 500 former Tuaran Upko division members.
Most political parties are holding their annual division meetings this month with Sabah