KOTA KINABALU, Aug 30 ― Sabahans who want to see a change in government will have to put aside lingering concerns about former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Pakatan Harapan chief secretary Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
The PKR leader said Sabahans have to consider the primary goal now was to defeat the current government, and claimed that past mistakes could be forgiven for political expediency.
“Sabahans, like any other Malaysians, are reasonable and practical people. The main issue now is to oust the government,” said Saifuddin when asked about Sabahan voter support for Pakatan Harapan.
“If Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah and Wan Azizah are able to sit with Tun on a monthly basis, that's enough to point out past mistakes can be set aside for strategic reasons,” he said, referring to PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was jailed for sodomy during Dr Mahathir’s administration.
He was speaking to reporters after a chairing a meeting with Sabah PH leaders at its headquarters here today.
He was asked whether Sabahans could accept PH with Dr Mahathir at the helm.
Dr Mahathir is still blamed for the influx of illegal immigrants in the state under “Projek IC” and for introducing Umno, the first non-local political party into Sabah.
The current voter sentiment is unclear, but the continued presence of immigrants from neighbouring countries, many with various forms of documentation, both legal and illegal, remain a thorny issue for the current government.
Dr Mahathir was named chairman of PH when the pact unveiled its leadership structure, but the extent of his executive powers and its chain of command remain unclear.