KUCHING: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has thanked Datuk Ali Biju for pulling out from contesting in the Sarawak election as an Independent candidate.
Its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Ali’s decision not to defend the Krian seat was to respect the good relations that Bersatu and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) enjoyed.
"His actions are noble and honourable. The sacrifices made by Datuk Ali Biju had a major impact on the understanding that had been reached between (GPS chairman) Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and I towards a better cooperation between GPS and Bersatu in Sarawak.
"This includes the understanding that Perikatan Nasional, represented by Bersatu, will take part in the next general election in the state," he said in a statement on Thursday (Dec 9).
Muhyiddin also welcomed Ali’s support for GPS candidates contesting in Krian, Kalaka and Kabong, which are located in the Saratok parliamentary constituency, where the latter was the MP.
Earlier on Thursday, Ali had announced that he was pulling out from contesting as an Independent candidate in the Krian seat, and that he would give full support to the GPS candidate contesting there, namely Friday Belik.
He said the decision was made after taking into account that his insistence on contesting in the election could adversely affect relations between Perikatan and GPS.
Ali had won the Krian seat in the 2011 and 2016 state elections under the PKR ticket. He, however, left the party and joined Bersatu.
On the Dec 6 nomination day, he had submitted his papers to contest as an Independent, a move that had raised questions since Bersatu had agreed to sit out in this election.
Apart from Ali, three other Bersatu members were contesting as Independents - Siki Balarik in Belaga, Ricky Enteri in Bawang Assan and Ismawi Muhammad in Muara Tuang.