PENAMPANG, April 6 — The launch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia here took place without the presence of the main leaders of Sabah’s Warisan-led state government.
Parti Warisan Sabah president and chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was absent, and none of the party’s supreme council was seen at the state-level launch of the national party.
Shafie was however spotted earlier at the airport to greet the Bersatu chairman and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
PKR state chairman Datuk Christina Liew arrived at 4.45pm, with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail from an event in Beaufort.
DAP acting state chairman Datuk Frankie Poon was absent and the party is believed to be still in mourning over its former chairman’s death last week.
Yesterday, Sabah PPBM de facto leader Datuk Hajiji Noor said that he had invited the PH component leaders and other opposition parties to the event today.
Hajiji has said that the party was ready to support the state government and Warisan in its efforts here.
Despite the absence of Warisan, the event was however not short on prominent political leaders and opposition leaders.
Those attending included Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Liberal Democratic Party president Datuk Chin Su Phin, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Parti Bersatu Sabah secretary Datuk Jahid Jahim.
Also present were members from Upko, Parti Cinta Sabah, former chief ministers Datuk Harris Salleh and Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat, former Umno assemblyman Datuk Anifah Aman.
The event today is expecting to see the entry of seven assemblyman – six from Umno and one from Upko – into the party.
Shafie and Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir had an agreement prior to the 14th general election that the latter would not enter the state but strong demand from former Umno members had compelled the party to enter Sabah.
Shafie said that it was every party’s right to enter Sabah and said he would accept the decision.
Earlier, people started arriving at ITCC as early as 11am from all over the state.