By S. Harrish
BERSATU’S Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has received a letter of intent from Sabah’s Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin that he will be appointed as the state chief minister.
Speaking to reporters on his way out of the palace around 5pm, Hajiji said he expects to be sworn in as the 16th chief minister tomorrow morning.
“The TYT invited me over to inform me of my appointment as the chief minister of Sabah. Yes, he handed to me the letter of intent,” the Sulaman assemblyman said.
Meanwhile, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the decision by Gabungan Rakyat Sabah to choose Hajiji as the chief minister was a compromise by the party’s state chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.
Malaysiakini reports him saying that the Bung had relented to pressure by other BN assemblypersons who wanted him to be part of the new state administration.
“Bung had to compromise after being pressured by 14 BN assemblypersons to be part of the Sabah new government, even if it is only as the deputy chief minister,” Zahid said.
“He had compromised to give way to Hajiji. The decision was made by Bung after seeking the view of Umno top leadership who did the negotiation in Kota Kinabalu,” he added.
According to him, the top Umno leaders present in the meeting with other GRS parties this morning were Umno vice-presidents Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, BN secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, and Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan.
Zahid did not take part in the meeting, as it is learned that he is currently under quarantine after being in close contact with another Umno leader who was later tested positive for Covid-19.
However, Zahid did not answer when asked if Bung is going to be the Sabah deputy chief minister.