KUALA LUMPUR: PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad today confirmed PPBM’s entry into Sabah, saying this will enhance cooperation with those who have left Umno but are reluctant to join Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) ally in the state, Warisan.
“We found a problem arose when Umno leaders left the party there and chose not to join Warisan, except for one person.
“The rest all asked to join PPBM but we were not there. So it affects our cooperation with those who want to join PPBM,” he said in a press conference after chairing a meeting of the party’s Supreme Council here.
However, the prime minister added that those who wish to join PPBM must first leave Umno and remain independent for a while before being subjected to a vetting process.
“After that, we are ready to accept them after vetting their backgrounds. So we have made the decision to set up PPBM in Sabah,” he said, adding however that members could not be from PH parties or Warisan.
When asked who would lead PPBM in Sabah, Mahathir said: “A Sabahan.”
When asked if he had any names in mind, he said: “We are just going there. We will go to Sabah as soon as possible.”
On whether Warisan and other PH partners had agreed to PPBM entering Sabah, Mahathir said they too had not asked for permission when going to the state.
“We have no mechanism requiring us to get other parties’ approval.”
But he added that PPBM would enter Sabah in order to strengthen the government of Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.
“PH accepts Warisan as the government,” he said. “We are not going there to stunt Shafie.”
He acknowledged the backlash from PH members over crossovers from Umno, but said, “If you leave them without a party, they could cause damage.
“We don’t accept all members,” he added, “only selected members under certain conditions.”
When asked what kind of damage this might cause in PH, Mahathir said he believed there would be none.
“Some will be unhappy, just as when I joined the opposition many said I would spoil the party. But some accepted. There cannot be 100% agreement on everything.”
When asked if the stand on refusing members from PH and Warisan could change, Mahathir said: “Nothing is permanent.”
On recent reports that gaming company Da Ma Cai had sponsored a police working trip overseas, he said: “This happened before our time. Their purpose was good, but there has been criticism against what they did.”