SEMENYIH (Feb 18): Presiden Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin appreciates the openness shown by the president of Parti Warisan Sabah Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal on the issue of Bersatu’s entry into the State.
"Although, this is not an easy decision, it symbolises his great magnanimity and that of the whole Warisan leadership line-up," he said while thanking Mohd Shafie in a statement today.
Mohd Shafie today was reported as saying that his party could not bar the entry of Bersatu to Sabah.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Bersatu chairman, announced the party's decision to expand its wings to Sabah.
Subsequently, Muhyiddin said Mohd Shafie’s stand in not being emotional about Bersatu’s entry to Sabah but instead focusing on developing the State in line with the mandate given by the people in the 14th General Election, was a praiseworthy step.
"His stand is in line with the aim of Bersatu’s entry into Sabah, namely, to strengthen the Sabah State government which was formed as a result of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) co-operation with Warisan in the last general election,’’ explained Muhyiddin.
He believed more development which would benefit the people of Sabah could be successfully implemented with the position of the State government which would be more firm and stable.
"I am confident Beratu’s decision to expand to Sabah at the request of the people in the State will bring benefit to the people and the Sabah State government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Shafie," said Munyiddin.
Commenting on the same matter when campaigning for the PH candidate at the Semenyih State Assembly constituency by-election here, Muhyiddin said the concept of mutual strengthening had been accepted by Warisan when their representatives were appointed to the Cabinet as Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
"With this decision, (not obstructing Bersatu’s entry to Sabah) we can continue our step to review the list of several UMNO leaders, comprising of Members of Parliament, State Assemblymen and division leaders who stated they wanted to join Bersatu.
"It includes thousands of application forms which have been submitted by them but cannot be registered because of Bersatu’s position in Sabah which have yet to be concluded, all of them are expected to be registered in several weeks’ time," he said.
Also present was the PH candidate for the Semenyih by-election, Muhammad Aiman Zainali.
Replying to a reporter’s question, Muhyiddin said Bersatu had conducted negotiations with Mohd Shafie and he was not against Bersatu’s aspiration to go to Sabah.
"Don’t look at this as a threat because it is for strengthening PH and empowering Warisan...what’s important is that we are committed to working closely, that was our promise,’’ he said.
Asked on the urgings of several Bersatu division heads in Perak for State Bersatu chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu to step down, Muhyiddin said that he had advised all the quarters involved and would solve the matter after the by-election.
The by-election on March 2 would see a four-cornered fight between Muhammad Aiman, Zakaria Hanafi from Barisan Nasional, independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng and Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).
It is being held following the death of incumbent, Bakhtiar Mohd Nor of Bersatu who represented PH, on Jan 11 of a heart attack.