KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 15, 2019: Despite the Sabah political leadership explicitly stating its objection, Pribumi Bersatu has decided to set up branches in the state, mainly to allow former Umno members to join the party.
In confirming this move today, Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad claimed that the former Umno leaders did not wish to join Warisan, the Sabah ruling party friendly to Pakatan.
“A problem arose when the Umno leaders quit their party and Sabah Umno was dissolved. They did not wish to join Warisan and wanted to join Pribumi Bersatu,” said Mahathir after a Pribumi Bersatu Leadership Council meeting, adding that those wanted to join Pribumi Bersatu would be subject to tight screening.
Bernama quoted him as outlining these three conditions — that they must first quit Umno, become independents for some time and will have to undergo tight screening individually.
Mahathir further said that Pribumi Bersatu’s entry into Sabah was not to challenge or oppose Warisan, which is led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Asked if the decision by his party to go to Sabah was discussed with Warisan, Mahathir replied there was no need for that.
“We are going to Sabah to strengthen Shafie’s government; we are not opposing Warisan. We made the decision after studying the situation in Sabah where they (former Umno members) did not want to join Warisan but wanted to join Pribumi Bersatu,” he said, adding that the decision also did not require the agreement of fellow Pakatan member parties.
Responding to a question on a gaming company’s sponsorship of senior police officers visiting Istanbul, Mahathir considered it improper although the intention was good.
“It (the approval) happened before our time. The purpose was good but of course it had some criticism against it.”