Malaysia’s ruling coaltion wins crucial state polls

Malaysia’s ruling coalition has won a crucial snap election in the state of Sabah, the media reported.

In Saturday’s election, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) claimed victory after unofficially winning 38 seats, reports The Star Malaysia newspaper.

The GRS comprises Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional and Parti Bersatu Sabah.

It is an informal coalition and contested under three separate logos.

The GRS has also announced that it will name its candidate for Sabah Chief Minister on Sunday, amid intense negotiation.

Before the election, Muhyiddin had said that a win in Sabah, a previously opposition-held state, could pave the way for early national polls aimed at ending uncertainty over the stability of his ruling alliance, which has a two-seat majority in Parliament.

A former Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin was officially sworn in as Malaysia’s eighth Prime Minister on March 1 after forming an alliance with opposition parties following the shock resignation of his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad.

Muhyiddin was removed from the post of Deputy Prime Minister in 2015 when he fell out with then-leader Najib Razak over the handling of the 1MDB corruption scandal, which the latter is currently on trial for.

He later joined Mahathir’s Bersatu, which ousted Najib, his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party and the Barisan Nasional coalition from power in the March 2018 elections.

In a twist, Muhyiddin had again linked up with UMNO to rise to power.