PPBM’s entry is blessing in disguise for PBS, says Ongkili

PBS president Maximus Ongkili (third from left) with founder and former PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan (fourth from left) and other senior leaders during PBS’ Chap Goh Meh celebration in Penampang today.

KOTA KINABALU: PBS is not threatened by PPBM’s entry into Sabah, its president Maximus Ongkili said today, adding the development may even benefit his party.

“There are more Malayan parties here now but it will be a plus factor for us,” he told reporters during PBS’ Chap Goh Mei celebration in Penampang near here today.

Ongkili said PBS has always promoted local parties.

“It’s going to be a blessing in disguise for PBS and the Sabah people,” he said, although he did not specify how.

Political observers have claimed, with PPBM’s entry into Sabah, the Muslim Bumiputera votes will be split among PPBM, Warisan and Umno.

Though having predominantly Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) members, PBS is a multiracial party and has its fair share of Muslim Bumiputera supporters, such as in the parliamentary areas of Beluran and Tuaran.

Ongkili also denied “welcoming” PPBM in the state, as reported by media earlier.

“I never used the word ‘welcome’, I just wished them all the best.”

Ongkili said PBS will continue to keep a watch on those in power presently, including those in PPBM.

He also said that opposition bloc Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) is open to working with Sabah Umno.

However, GBS is not sure about Umno’s future plans.

“The one left is the head, Bung Moktar. We don’t know the future plans for Umno. He (Bung) has not disclosed them,” he said.