TAWAU, Feb 17 — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) is always open to collaborate and to establish beneficial working relations, particularly with the federal government.
Its president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, while extending his ‘all the best’ wishes to the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), following Bersatu’s recent announcement to enter Sabah, reiterated that PBS’ stand has always been to promote local-based party.
“There is nothing wrong for other political parties to spread their wings in the state as this is a democratic country, and anyone can set up a party or a branch that is allowed by the RoS (Registrar of Societies).
“(And) in the case of Sabah, PBS’ stand has always been to promote local-based party, but in the interest of the people’s unity and to be able to operate within the federal system, we will consider to work closely with the federal government,” he said at the PBS Tawau Chinese New Year luncheon here, today.
Ongkili further stressed that PBS was of the view that a multiracial party was still the best option, where all races were accommodated, while moderation and tolerance could be cultivated as the basis for unity.
“PBS, though being forced to be in the opposition due to the leapfrogging of UPKO’s elected representatives, we are always open for political cooperation among like-minded parties, those who share similar ideas and to put unity of the people as priority, as well as fighting for the safety of Sabah within the federation, and of course to protect the state’s rights as enshrined in MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963),” he said.
Ongkili, who is also Kota Marudu MP, expressed his hope that Bersatu’s entry in Sabah would not split the people, but rather to promote the spirit of togetherness and protection of the state’s rights.
“Today, PBS supporters remains strong. In fact our memberships have grown stronger in the last 10 months.
“It’s up to the people of Sabah to respond, or not, as the case may be, to Bersatu’s entry and I hope that the party will not divide the Sabahans further and lead to the importation of the peninsula’s political style and concept,” he said.
He said PBS struggles were well-known, particularly in protecting the Sabah’s rights, security and pursuing better development to be on a par with the progress in the peninsula. — Bernama