Sabah PPBM wants to be dominant force, says chief

Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Mohd Noor strikes a gong to launch a youth wing seminar in Tuaran today.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PPBM aspires to be a dominant political party but will work with Warisan to fulfil the development plans for the state, its chief Hajiji Mohd Noor said.

“Every party wants to become strong, and Sabah PPBM is no exception.

“As a component party of Pakatan Harapan led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, we want to be strong, not only for the benefit of Sabah and also the Warisan-led state government,” he said.

Hajiji said there was no point quarrelling with one another as it would not do anything to help develop the state.

“If we keep fighting each other or debate on non-beneficial issues, a lot of time is wasted.

“What’s important to us is to focus on the economy and racial unity,” he said after a seminar by the Sabah PPBM youth wing (Armada) at Tuaran, near here, today,

Hajiji, who is the Sulaman assemblyman, said it was normal for any party to want to increase its strength and influence.

He said Sabah PPBM would work with Warisan and the Sabah government to ensure that development plans were carried out effectively.

He declined to comment on a video recording that went viral recently showing a man resembling Chief Minister Shafie Apdal equating PPBM to Umno.

Shafie had dismissed it as “an old video and story”, saying “previously, we had an understanding that Bersatu (PPBM) would not enter Sabah”.

Relations between the two parties had been stretched after PPBM decided to spread its wings to Sabah earlier this year. The state chapter was launched by Mahathir, the PPBM chairman, in April.

Earlier, addressing the seminar, Hajiji said Mahathir was happy with the chapter’s growth.

“He is delighted that Sabah PPBM has managed to set up so many divisions and branches (517). We have the highest number of members in Malaysia,” he said.

He said he was proud that Mahathir had commended the Tuaran division, which he heads, as having the most number of members – 7,000 – in a PPBM division.

“Whether it is in the interior or on an island, we are there. What’s important now is to ensure that our struggle is accepted by the people.

“Hopefully, one day, PPBM will sit together (with other parties) in the state government,” he said, to applause from the floor.

The former state minister paid tribute to Mahathir for coming out of retirement to serve the nation again, saying that people should not question the 94-year-old’s intentions.

“Is it possible for him, at that age, to have a personal interest? Besides correcting the country’s administration and leadership, what else could he want?”

The former Sabah Umno chief also said the party was the reason for his long political career.

But, following the last general election, he said Umno was no longer relevant, which was why more than 30 senior Sabah leaders and members, comprising MPs, assemblymen and division leaders, left the party last year.