KOTA KINABALU, May 21 — Parti Pejuang Tanah Air said today it is open to working with any parties, as it makes its entry into the saturated Sabah political landscape.
Its president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said that the party is excited about the prospects in the state. which has traditionally been dominated by bigger, more established parties and leaders.
"We have met with some of the smaller parties, so far, everyone has been open to it. We haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t want to see us,” said Mukhriz.
He admitted that the opposition bloc in the state is not only crowded but also fragmented — which means an uphill task in the coming elections where all of the parties will have to find common ground.
"But we are open to discussion with all parties, big and small, old and new. The important thing is that whoever we work with, we must share the same principles,” he said.
The Jerlun MP is in Kota Kinabalu for the party’s leadership retreat. The party was scheduled to launch in Sabah today but its chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, was attending the Nikkei Conference in Tokyo, Japan.
When asked how Pejuang intends on garnering support in Sabah, which has been pushing toward more state-based sentiments, Mukhriz said that Sabah and Sarawak issues have been gaining prominence at a national level.
"There have been in-depth discussions about issues like the Malaysian Agreement 1963 at the Dewan Rakyat, and we have all been involved in the voting to amend the Constitution and it received bipartisan support, from all of us in Pejuang as well as MPs from both sides of the divide.
"I hope that helps to alleviate some concern from Sabahans,” he said.
He said Pejuang is still in the early stages of setting up its grassroots and will be working on introducing its party and its struggles in time for the 15th general election.
State Pejuang chairman Nicholas Sylvester also said it is in the midst of setting up its divisions in all 25 Parliamentary constituencies here.