Kurup’s party holds off decision on PPBM tie-up

Joseph Kurup (centre in white) cutting the cake to celebrate his party’s 25th anniversary.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), led by former federal minister Joseph Kurup, does not rule out working with Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s PPBM, as the people would benefit. But the party has yet to decide.

Speaking to reporters at the party’s 25th anniversary here last night, Kurup said that for now, the party was adopting a wait-and-see position.

“After all, there is no harm in being aligned with them. We will be able to serve people better. PPBM being in the government means they can provide a lot of things for the people,” he said.

He admitted the party has discussed the matter internally but has yet to decide on taking a side because they are concerned about the repercussions of the decision.

In his speech to members earlier, Kurup told the 100 or so in attendance that the party was considering its options.

There were many issues that the people were not happy with, such as the legalisation of illegal immigrants, higher prices of daily essentials, drop of commodities prices, silly statements from ministers as well as the government’s apparent willingness to recognise non-indigenous as natives in Sabah.

“If we join (the government), then we have to support all these things that people are not happy about. Presently, the political situation is still unstable. The best thing we can do is to wait and see. We need to know how all these problems will be addressed,” he said.

PBRS has only one parliamentary seat in Pensiangan held by Kurup’s son, Arthur. Its former vice president Ellron Angin who is also Sook assemblyman left the party in December last year to join another Sabah based party STAR, led by Jeffrey Kitingan.

Kurup previously led the party out of Barisan Nasional (BN) after the coalition’s defeat in last year’s general election, saying he wanted to work with Sabah ruling party Warisan.

He later tried to get his party accepted into Pakatan Harapan but eventually went back to BN.

Such political manoeuvres have resulted in Kurup being labelled an opportunist, a tag he rejects.

“I don’t know why people label me as such. All the party wanted to do is to serve the people. The people want to see that we are with them.

“We are not asking for positions, but it is really up to those in power. If they think we are doing good, then it is up to them,” he said.