KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan is ready to work with the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) after their relations soured following the recent Johor state election.
Party chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he had spoken to Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman over the possibility.
“I just gave my opinion to him yesterday (about working together) and he needs to strengthen his party first,” he told reporters at the party’s headquarters in Kolombong near here on Thursday (May 12).
He added Warisan and Muda were supposed to sign an agreement after they both launched their parties in December last year.
“But unfortunately it didn’t go well. So, I communicated with him yesterday to say ‘let’s talk’ (about working together again),” said Shafie.
Shafie was speaking after launching the party’s #WarisanCares work study programme.
Last December, Muda had announced that they were in a “coalition” with Warisan.
However, the ties between the party and Warisan are perceived to be strained when Muda cut an electoral pact with Pakatan Harapan's DAP and Amanah during the Johor polls.
Syed Saddiq, who was in Sabah to set up Muda last month, insisted to reporters that relations with Warisan and Shafie remained “very good” even after the Johor election.
He said that Muda was strengthening bridges for the opposition but felt that any discussion was best done between parties behind closed doors as the public is fed up with such talk.
Meanwhile the Semporna MP remained coy when asked on the possibility of mending ties with DAP ahead of the 15th General Election, as both parties are also not on the best of terms.
While saying his doors are open, the former Sabah chief minister reiterated that he preferred to strengthen the party first.
“I’ve already indicated many times (before), we are building our house first. We need to build the walls, roof and poles. Sometimes, even our poles can get stolen. How? They are bought over - this is the reality,” he said.
This is believed to be in reference to political rivals wooing his elected representatives to defect their parties from Warisan.
“It is not that we don’t want to work with anyone but as the leader of this party, I have to ensure that the house is strong enough," said Shafee.
“It must be a smart partnership. It’s not about strengthening them (other parties) but for us to strengthen our party as well as Sabahans’ and the country’s interests,” he added.
The relationship between Warisan and DAP soured when the former set foot in the peninsula last year and started recruiting DAP leaders and members.
Warisan had accepted the Independent assemblymen for Elopura and Sri Tanjung in Sabah and Teratai in Selangor as party members. All three had quit DAP before going Independent.
The situation became more tense when Warisan contested in Pakatan-held seats in the Johor elections, albeit unsuccessfully.
Towards this end, Shafie did not discount the chances of Warisan going at it alone in GE15.
He pointed out that history has shown that single parties could win an election in Sabah, referring to when Berjaya ousted Usno in 1976 and Parti Bersatu Sabah defeating Berjaya in 1985.
“We have not decided on this (whether to contest on our own) because political alliances are also important. We will see how it goes,” he said.