PPBM will split Malay-Muslim votes in Sabah, says PBS

Presiden PBS, Maximus Ongkili. (Bernama Pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Maximus Ongkili said the entry of the Dr Mahathir Mohamad-led PPBM to Sabah could further divide the votes of the Malay-Muslim community in the state.

He, however, said opposition parties had no objection to Malayan-based parties entering the state.

The Bumiputera communities in the state are currently divided between Umno and Warisan.

Ongkili further emphasised that it’s always beneficial for the state to be run by local parties. “I think it is better for Sabahans to unite and fight for their rights if a local party is in charge.

“The impact is bigger if the people of Sabah take the lead through an existing party like PBS. It will be easier for Sabah to achieve its development goals,” he said.

PPBM’s entry into Sabah has apparently not gone down well with Warisan.

Mahathir has said the party’s entry into Sabah is aimed at stopping Sabah Umno leaders from causing any damage to the ruling government.

Meanwhile, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan told FMT that the former Sabah Umno leaders are likely to form a partnership with Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS).

The GBS is a coalition of PBS, STAR and former Sabah Umno leaders who are in direct opposition to the current state government.

“Even if the former Sabah Umno leaders have become PPBM members, they will still be part of GBS. Only Umno is not part of GBS,” he said.

He admitted the situation would become a bit complicated as the former Sabah Umno leaders would now be obliged to support the current Warisan-PH coalition government in the state.

FMT has reached out to former Sabah Umno secretary Masidi Manjun for comment.

The group’s de facto leader Hajiji Noor left Sabah last night and is currently performing his Umrah.

Chief Minister and Warisan president Shafie Apdal is expected to respond to PPBM’s entry into the state later this evening.