KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Pakatan Harapan chairman Datuk Christina Liew (pic
) was "very surprised" by the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) move to enter the state, despite Prime Minister and party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's assurances that it would not come to Sabah.
Liew, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, said she found the move surprising as Bersatu had agreed not to enter the state as part of its electoral agreement with Parti Warisan Sabah and its partners PKR and DAP.
The state PKR chief said Sabah's financial and development plans were going on the right track under the Warisan-led government, and that many Sabahans were happy with the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Liew was responding to reports of Dr Mahathir saying that Bersatu was venturing into Sabah to strengthen the Warisan-led government, and not to wrest control of its power.
"That surprised me because I think the state government is doing very well under Mohd Shafie's leadership. That one you cannot deny. I think the majority of the people in Sabah support him and his leadership.
"I can see that the state is heading for prosperity. Suddenly you're telling me that we're not doing too well, and that you need to come in to assist or strengthen them (Warisan)," she told reporters after the World Pangolin Day gala dinner in Hilton Kota Kinabalu on Saturday (Feb 16).
Liew said she would leave it to Mohd Shafie, who is Warisan president, to provide further comments on Bersatu's entry into Sabah.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir said Bersatu's move to set up shop in Sabah was merely to provide an avenue for former Sabah Umno members who do not wish to join Warisan to join Bersatu.
“Otherwise it would damage (the current political landscape) if the former Umno members join other opposition parties,” he said after chairing Bersatu’s supreme council meeting recently.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that although Warisan was not part of Pakatan, they have agreed to let Warisan lead the coalition in Sabah in what he described an "extraordinary arrangement".
He said Bersatu would only accept former Umno members and those from other parties except Warisan, PKR, DAP and Amanah members.