KOTA KINABALU, April 6 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reiterated that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) has no intention to take over from the state government after launching it in the presence of other top leaders of the party.

Dr Mahathir said even though his party has a big presence here, they have no plans to take down the state government and in fact aims to help strengthen them.

“We are not going to take over the state government, we are going to support the state government. They are in charge and we will support them,” he said during a press conference after the state-level launch of the national party.

Dr Mahathir said that Parti Warisan Sabah held a special position with the federal government as its members hold three Cabinet positions despite not being a component party of Pakatan Harapan.


“We have given them a special position although they are not members of Pakatan Harapan. They have three of their members, also deputy ministers in the Cabinet. We work closely and consult with them. There is no problem with working together,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said that there will not be any special requests from Bersatu for position or favours from the state government.

“Even though the figures show that we have big numbers, it is not our intention to form the state government. We want Bersatu in Sabah to get bigger and help the federal government,” he said.


On the absence of Warisan president and chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal from the launching today, Dr Mahathir said that it does not affect their working relationship.

“I met the chief minister on arrival and chatted with him over certain issues, and we can work together. I have worked with him over a long period of time,” he said.

In his speech, Dr Mahathir said he was impressed with the turnout at the launching ceremony, estimated at 30,000, saying that it was the biggest reception the party has ever had.

At the launching ceremony today, Bersatu received some 120,000 membership applications from here.

He also presented membership cards to seven assemblymen: Membakut assemblyman Datuk Ariffin Arif, Kawang assemblyman Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan, Usukan assemblyman Datuk Japlin Akim, Klias assemblyman Datuk Isnin Aliasnih, Apas assemblyman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan, Lumadan assemblyman Datuk Matbali Musah, and Nabawan Assemblyman Datuk Bobbey Suan.

Along with Sulaman assemblyman Datuk Hajiji Noor and Karanaan assemblyman Datuk Masidi Manjun, Bersatu has nine assemblymen in Sabah.

Hajiji, who is former Sabah Umno chairman, was appointed state coordinator and put in charge of electing a new committee for the party in the state.