Merger of Opposition parties in Sabah is off for PBS

  • Nation
  • Friday, 21 Feb 2020

KOTA KINABALU: The proposed merger of the opposition political parties in the state has been called off but cooperation is still on the cards, says Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice-president Datuk Johnny Mositun (pic).

PBS, he said, did not want to merge with other opposition parties to become a new coalition due to practical reasons.

"And this does not mean that the ruling government can rest on its laurels," he said, urging the current Government to properly manage the state.

Mositun said although there are merits to the proposal of a larger single opposition party, it is premature at this stage, seeing that there is still a long way to go before the next general election.

He said the political scenario in the country and state is still unclear.

"Anything can happen between now and then. If we dissolve our respective parties now in haste and the situation changes later, we would have tied ourselves in knots unnecessarily to face the general election.

"That is what PBS does not want to happen," he said after meeting local residents at Kg Kaiduan in Papar and accepting new members into PBS for the Limbahau division.

He said PBS president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili had also made their stand clear on the matter, which would see the "unimaginable" dissolution of the party that has struggled for their principles for 35 years.

"Our members have stayed with us through all these years because of those principles. We will not abandon them or our ideals in the mere hope of regaining political power," he said.

Mositun said PBS was ready to cooperate with all and any other opposition party in facing the next general election.

"Cooperation is not a problem, even a loose coalition, but dissolution of PBS? Definitely not," he said.

He said PBS was not in the opposition just for the sake of opposing the Government but to uphold its ideals and objectives for Sabah.

"What is good for Sabah, PBS will support but what is not good, we will oppose with all our might," Mositun said.

He said this stand has earned the loyalty and respect of PBS members as well attract new members, especially those from the younger generation fed up with seeing local political parties vie for power and position before and after each election.

The new generation of voters, he added, want to see political parties and leaders of consistency and genuine commitment to Sabah.

On the Government's ongoing efforts in raising funds to aid China's fight against the Covid-19 virus, Mositun described such moves as "commendable" but reminded the state to also look into the needs of its people first.

"The basic principle remains - that is to protect our own people first. So. spend resources and medical expertise on your own people as a priority," he said.

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