KOTA KINABALU (June 7): Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal has acknowledged Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) decision to stick with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).
“If that is what they want, we cannot force them.”
Shafie said Warisan wished to work with local parties, and PBS and United Sabah National Organization (Usno) were among the parties that his party always had wanted to cooperate with, like the parties in Sarawak.
“If possible, I want to cooperate with parties that I know deeply. And I know them well.”
He pointed out that GRS was different than Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) because the former was led by peninsular-based Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), while GPS consisted of local parties only.
Shafie said he had experienced state cabinet ministers from peninsular-based parties who followed their own party’s system instead of the decisions agreed upon at the state level during the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration in Sabah.
“This is an issue. Although they are Sabahans, but their parties, be it DAP, PKR or Bersatu, will always take priority over the interests of Sabahans,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Earlier, Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that PBS is and will remain loyal to GRS.
The president of PBS said that while he appreciates Warisan’s interest to work with the oldest multiracial party in Sabah in the coming 15th General election (15GE), it chooses to be totally committed to GRS.
Meanwhile, Shafie said that the State Government should have been led by Umno with 14 assemblymen then, instead of Bersatu with only 11 assemblymen after the state election.
However, he said Bersatu ended up leading the State Government because its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was the prime minister then.
“It is worrying when the parties in GRS are not local based.”
He said that was the reason Warisan departed from Pakatan Harapan (PH) to fight for the interests of Malaysians, especially Sabahans.
On the Registrar of Societies’ (ROS) rejecting Warisan’s application to postpone its annual general meeting (AGM) and party election, Shafie said he had asked the party’s secretary-general to file an appeal.
“If that does not work out, we have planned to conduct the AGM this year, in July, August or September.
“I believe the divisions have been informed to make preparations.”