Dr M: A Sabahan or Sarawakian can be prime minister of Malaysia one day

Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) launching Sabah Bersatu in Penampang, April 6, 2019. — Bernama pic
Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) launching Sabah Bersatu in Penampang, April 6, 2019. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, April 6 — Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that a Sabahan or Sarawakian can one day become the prime minister as long as they have the capability of being a leader for Malaysians.

“We need to give opportunity for others to lead the country. I am confident that one day, the prime minister will come from Sabah or Sarawak because we are all Malaysians.

“In a democratic country, anyone can become a leader as long as that person has certain capabilities,” he said.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman said that Sabah was always close to his heart and people here have asked him before the 14th general election (GE14) that the party is set up in the state.

“Many people have been asking right after we established PPBM — but the time was not right. We were afraid of how it could affect our performance during GE14. But now there is a shift in power and circumstances are different.

“Warisan is not part of the Pakatan Harapan government but we appreciate Sabah so we gave them a place and gave them positions in the Cabinet.

Dr Mahathir reiterated that the party had no intention to seize power over the state government but was there to strengthen the Warisan-led government.

He also warned the people that the party would not hesitate to get rid of any leaders or members found involved in abuse or power or corruption.

“This is not the place to enrich ourselves, only for those who want to bring up the people and the nation,” he said.

“I recall being PM in 1991 and it was not too difficult (to bring development) but now there is too much corruption. Our financials are in trouble due to the transgressions of the previous administration,” he said.

He said all Sabahans can play a role in ensuring Sabah continued to develop and become a developed nation by 2025.

The PPBM state launch here saw some 120,076 membership applications and the entry of seven new assemblymen

The party’s total now is nine assemblymen and five MPs, making them the party with the second most elected representatives.

In contrast, Parti Warisan Sabah has 31 elected state seats, followed by Sabah DAP with six, Upko with four and PKR with two.

In the opposition, Parti Bersatu Sabah has five seats, Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku has three, and  Umno has one.