KOTA KINABALU : Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) is open to cooperation with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and national parties in Peninsular Malaysia to build a better nation for the people, said its president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Cooperation among political parties is important because no one party can form the government on its own, he said but added that the cooperation must be based on benefits for the country and not what positions the party leaders will get.
Asked why Warisan wanted to work with PBS, he explained that PBS is a local party that has a history in the state and he personally knew the party leaders, especially its president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
Honestly, he said, he would like to work with PBS because it is a local party.
“We know the sentiments and their struggle. It’s not like we are desperate or anything but we are open to it (cooperation with PBS). Of course, we have to align ourself with national parties in Semenanjung (the peninsula) as well.
“But any national party that wants to work with us must have the Sabah interest (at heart). It is a two-way cooperation. It is not only what we can give but also what you can give to Sabah,” he told reporters in an online press conference here today.
Mohd Shafie also said that before establishing cooperation with other political parties, Warisan must strengthen itself from within, especially when facing the next general election.
“I always say to my people: build your house first, strengthen your house and don’t talk to other people if the party is not strong enough. They (other parties) can cooperate, but we must strengthen ourselves first, then we talk about working together,” he said.
Asked whether Warisan has a working agreement with UMNO, especially to face the next general election, Mohd Shafie said there is no talk of cooperation or agreement between the two political parties at this time.
Meanwhile, Ongkili, when contacted by reporters, declined to comment on the Warisan desire to work with PBS.
On April 5, Mohd Shafie was reported as saying that Warisan is keeping its options open as it decides to ‘unhook’ its association with the Pakatan Harapan coalition.