Shafie should rethink his political loyalties, says PBS chief

PBS president Maximus Ongkili (left) accepts a memento from secretary-general Jahid Jahim at the party’s 35th anniversary dinner in Kota Kinabalu last night.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Maximus Ongkili today said Chief Minister Shafie Apdal should think twice about his political allegiance, following the Warisan president’s announcement yesterday that Sabah would maintain its support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad but work with the federal government.

He said the Warisan-led state government would need all the help it could get from the federal government.

“We think Sabahans are very unhappy with Warisan’s performance so far.

“As for Shafie’s remarks, that is his own problem as it was his decision.

“(But) I think it would be good for them to reconsider fully supporting the federal government’s position and grouping,” he told reporters at the party’s 35th anniversary dinner here last night.

Shafie had said Sabah would continue to work with the federal government to ensure that the people continue to benefit in terms of development and other matters like health, education and security.

He also said the state administration is committed to maintaining government-to-government relations, but that in terms of political affiliations, its backing would remain with Mahathir.

The Sabah government comprises Warisan, DAP, PKR and Upko.

Meaanwhile, Ongkili said PBS would stay out of Perikatan Nasional for now, like Gabungan Parti Sarawak which is not part of the coalition but supports the present prime minister.

Asked if PBS would ever consider joining Perikatan, he said: “We want to be independent in Sabah (as) we want to contest as many seats as we can in the next election and don’t want to be tied to any particular grouping.

“The friendship (with parties in Perikatan) has always been there (but there’s) no need to be a formal part of the body. We want to stay neutral at the national level as we want to concentrate on Sabah.

“But we will support policies and programmes that benefit Malaysians in Sabah,” the Kota Marudu MP said.