PPBM holds off East Malaysia advance till ‘time is right’

By Zurairi AR
PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declined to state a time frame for PPBM’s entry into the two east Malaysian states. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PETALING JAYA, March 28 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will be focusing on harnessing its strength in peninsular Malaysia for the 14th general elections, its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

Despite having “comrades” in Borneo Malaysia, he said the party is not forming any chapters in Sabah and Sarawak for the foreseeable future.

“For the purpose of the first phase, we have decided to not form chapters in Sabah and Sarawak, although we have comrades there,” Muhyiddin told a press conference at its headquarters here.

“This is to give more time and focus for us to move our programmes in [the] peninsula, and places where we hope to contest.”

He declined to state a the time frame for PPBM’s entry into the two east Malaysian states, saying only that the party will only know later “when the time is right”.

“When the time is right, we will spread our wings. We are pragmatic, we do not want people to say that we are too eager,” the Pagoh MP said.

In October last year, PPBM had welcomed former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s new Parti Warisan Sabah into the Opposition political circle, saying they share common goals.

The news conference today was to introduce the leaders of nine state chapters, with deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as its Kedah chief.

PPBM said it has yet to decide who will head its chapters for Negri Sembilan, Perlis, and the Federal Territories.

Other high-ranking leaders named as state chiefs included vice-president Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari as Selangor chief, secretary-general Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh as Johor chief, and information chief Datuk Kamarudin Md Nor as Kelantan chief.

Muhyiddin also said that his party will complete the formation of its 165 divisions by April 14, with only 12 division yet to be settled.

A week ago, PPBM was officially accepted by Pakatan Harapan as its fourth component party, and the federal pact will now seek to register itself as an official coalition before the next general election.