KOTA KINABALU, April 5 — Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor today refuted claims that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PBM), which will be launched in Sabah tomorrow, is just another version of Umno.
The state PPBM de facto leader said that the new party had different policies and approaches that were unlike his previous party.
“No, no... the perception that we are Umno 2.0 is wrong. This is a new political platform for Bumiputera and pribumi, to say it is Umno 2.0 is incorrect.
“We cannot say something like this just because most of the people are from Umno,” he said when met at the International Technology and Commercial Centre (ITCC) Penampang today.
The Sulaman assemblyman denied that the group of nine assemblymen and five MPs had left Umno en masse and joined PPBM just to remain in power.
“The political landscape has changed now. The people want change. We will support the state government and cooperate with them.
“We are not aiming for posts or positions. We wanted to join Bersatu because we feel it is aligned with our struggle,” he said.
Hajiji said that he was not sure what the arrangement will be like during the State Assembly next week, only that it would be up to the state government.
“We are in the federal government but as far as the state government is concerned, we do not know,” he added.
Seven assemblymen are expected to receive their membership cards during the party’s launch in Sabah tomorrow. All are ex-Umno elected representatives, except for Nabawan assemblyman Datuk Bobbey Suan who had won on an Upko ticket.
Eight other Umno assemblymen joined PPBM about two weeks ago.
PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the prime minister, will officiate the launch which is expected to be attended by some 30,000 people who are mostly former Umno supporters.
On support from other parties, Hajiji said that leaders from the Warisan-led government were expected to attend the launch, along with those from Pakatan Harapan component parties.
“We are also expecting our friends from GBS,” he said, referring to local alliance Gabungan Bersatu Sabah which consists of Opposition parties Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku and Parti Bersatu Sabah.
On the impending Sandakan by-election, Hajiji said that PPBM will not be fielding a candidate.
“We will support whoever Pakatan Harapan picks as candidate,” he said.
The by-election was called following the death of its incumbent Stephen Wong, 64, from a heart attack on March 28.
Polling will be on May 11 with nomination day on April 27.