KOTA KINABALU: A 'red tide' swept into Sabah when supporters of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) converged on the International Technology and Commercial Centre (ITCC) in Penampang here Saturday (April 6) to welcome the party to the state.
Thousands of supporters from near and far thronged the ITCC early Saturday for the event, which will be witnessed by national Bersatu leaders such as Prime Minister and party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin, deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and secretary-general Marzuki Yahya.
Dr Mahathir's wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali is also expected to make an appearance.
Ritah Konolon, 62, came all the way from Ranau to show her support for Bersatu.
The Dusun retiree said more than 2,000 people from her district travelled to Penampang to witness the party's launch.
"We were previously in Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin's Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, which was disbanded to allow its members to join Bersatu.
"We welcome Bersatu here for the benefit of the rakyat and to stabilise Sabah's economy.
"We don't want to be an opposition that is detrimental to the rakyat," said Ritah, when asked why she decided to join Bersatu.
Asanadi Jasuin, 42, said more than a thousand supporters came from Beaufort for the launch.
"Most of us that came here are youths," said the former Sabah Umno member.
"We want something new politically. It's not wrong for young people like us to join a new party, especially after witnessing the defeat of our former party.
"This represents a new hope for us," said Asanadi, who is from the Bisaya ethnic group.