Azmin hopes new political parties will not cause further division

Senior minister Azmin Ali speaks to reporters after a function with Sabah PPBM leaders in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: Senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali hopes the possibility of new political parties being set up will not further divide the people.

Azmin said he does not feel there is a need for new parties but in the name of democracy, any individual or party has the right to form their own outfits.

“But I hope this will not create further division among the people because there are already a number of parties in this country,” he told reporters after attending a luncheon with Sabah PPBM leaders here today.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had a fallout with PPBM, announced yesterday he will set up a new independent Malay political party.

He had previously said he might join an existing party or form a new one.

Earlier today, Home Minister and PPBM secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin said here that there was no issue with Mahathir’s move, which he found “interesting” although he had previously said there were too many Malay-based political parties.

Azmin, who is the Perikatan Nasional information chief, said his faction is ready to help PN parties win the Sabah election.

He said although the matter of the dissolution of the state assembly is still being argued in court, it will not stop their preparations for the polls.

“We are focusing on ensuring our election machinery in all state constituencies is ready.

“We will continue our discussions and consultations with our partners, particularly Umno, so we can together form a new state government,” he said.

Azmin said the Warisan-led state government had not been able to see eye to eye with the federal government.

“I think this is the best opportunity for Sabahans to elect a government that defends their rights and, at the same time, practises the principle of federalism,” he said.

Azmin, who is the former PKR deputy president, also said there is a possibility that Sabah PKR members who have been sacked by the party will contest in the election.