KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah is willing to working with state Opposition party Parti Warisan Sabah led by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who a day ago voiced his interest to work with PBS on state rights, says president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
In a surprise response to Shafie’s offer, Ongkili said in a statement on Wednesday (May 12) that PBS was always open to political cooperation with any Sabah-based parties, in the interest of the state and its people.
“We welcome political friends who desire to share aspirations (of Sabahans) with us in PBS.
“Hence, we are constantly on the look out for political friends and partners to make Sabah a better place,” he said when responding to Shafie’s offer.
As a member of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state government, Ongkili hoped other coalition parties would view Warisan’s gesture of cooperation and working relationship positively.
“Of course, PBS is enjoying a good working relationship with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, both through GRS as well as with Perikatan Nasional.
“We are comfortable with these scenarios and are able to serve the rakyat in Sabah through the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
“I hope the gesture of political cooperation from Warisan and our response for political friendship on behalf of GRS can improve political stability and socio-economic development in Sabah,” said Ongkili.
On Tuesday (May 11), Shafie indicated readiness to work with PBS, describing them as the ideal partner to work with to fight for Sabah’s rights.
Ongkili said that PBS, Sabah’s oldest party, has always been for multi-ethnic politics, multiculturalism and state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
He said the party continues to pursue the anti-hop law, protecting and defending the state’s security, especially against illegal foreigners and ensuring economic progress for the people of Sabah.