KOTA KINABALU: There will be a continuous push for state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), besides further socioeconomic development, if Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) does well in the 15th General Election (GE15), according to its manifesto.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who launched the 13-point manifesto here yesterday, described it as a comprehensive package that was people-centric.

Based on the four main trusts of ‘Sabah First, Sabah Forward, Sabah Prosper and Sabah United’, he said the manifesto was the coalition’s commitment to fighting for Sabah rights as per MA63 and for economic development, security, health and education.

Hajiji said the manifesto, which has a request for the Federal Government to allocate a deputy prime minister’s post to Sabah, also seeks 35% representation from Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament.

“We will enhance the state economy through agriculture, tourism and industrialisation; as well as women, family and community development; work towards providing more affordable housing, improving land management; and pushing for political stability, unity, equality for all,” the GRS chairman said.

Hajiji said GRS would also encourage more youth participation in governance.

This, he added, would increase their involvement in oil and gas industries.

“All that is in our manifesto was drawn up based on the people’s interests first, not personal or party interests,” he declared.

He said many of the matters sought were already being implemented by the GRS-Barisan Nasional coalition, which he said was a unique political collaboration.

“The state government has been able to introduce and get various socioeconomic initiatives off the ground,” he added.

Hajiji said this included attracting more investments into Sabah, besides getting help for poor students and communities, and inking oil and gas-related projects and deals.

He said these initiatives would not have been possible without the trust given to GRS by the people.

This, he said, translated into a strong working relationship between the GRS and Barisan state government.

“Let us continue this momentum so that we can continue to implement our plans for Sabah,” he added.

Sabah has 25 parliamentary seats, with GRS contesting in 12.

GRS comprises Bersatu, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Usno.

Sabah Barisan comprises Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), MCA and MIC.