PPBM will not go to Sabah, says Dr M

The party is not forming any branch in the state, says PPBM chairman

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

PARTI Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has no intention to establish a Sabah chapter, party chairman Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

Dr Mahathir said the party is not forming any branch in the state, despite speculations following a mass departure of 36 elected representatives, senators and division heads from Sabah’s Umno last week.

“No, we are not going to form any party in Sabah. The people in Sabah can choose their party,” he told the press after a meeting with high-technology industry players in Cyberjaya, yesterday.

Last week, Sabah Umno leaders, including the state liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor announced their resignations from the party.

Among the Sabah leaders who have resigned are Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee and former Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak. The decision resulted in Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, the sole Umno parliamentarian for Sabah, being appointed the party’s new state chief.

As for the resignation of Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar as PKR VP which was announced earlier yesterday, Dr Mahathir said he has no knowledge of the situation.

Nurul Izzah said in a Bernama report that she has also relinquished her appointment as Penang PKR chief.

“The leadership has been informed of my decision,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Nurul Izzah, dubbed as “Puteri Reformasi” since the formation of the “Reformasi” movement era, however, said that she will remain as an MP backbench and as an ordinary PKR member.

The meeting for the hightech industry players with Dr Mahathir was organised by Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), an agency under the PM’s Department.

Also present were MIGHT chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, and president and CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman.

Ahmad Tajuddin said the engagement between heavy industries players and government has been halted since Dr Mahathir vacated his position in 2003.

“So I invited the PM, after the May 9 general election to come back to MIGHT as our patron and to come and join this consultation,” he said.

About 60 players attended the programme, aimed at developing various initiatives to discuss issues that could lead to policymaking processes.