Kota Kinabalu: Pakatan Harapan Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin played down Gabungan Sabah’s Agenda Borneo versus Agenda Malaya sentiment, saying it is an old story.
He said the political scene now has changed that calls for Sabahans to fight for change in the country not just their State.
“It is an old story. Even when I was on the other side (Barisan Nasional), they talked about the same matter.
I think the situation now is not the same. All the leaders do not talk about just Sabahans, they talk about the interests of the nation, including us in the peninsula,” he told reporters here Wednesday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PBBM) President, was on a one-day working visit here where he had a meeting with Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders from PKR, DAP and Amanah.
Gabungan Sabah, a Sabah opposition coalition consisting of Star, Harapan Rakyat, SAPP and PPRS, has repeatedly defended its struggle for Agenda Borneo against Agenda Malaya, saying political parties either from the Barisan Nasional (BN) or opposition which work together with peninsula-based parties must be rejected by Sabahans.
Muhyiddin stressed that PH is a national party that fights for the nation, including people from the Borneo states.
“There are parties that were registered in the peninsula and they come here to be part of the Sabah political scene but their commitment is not only to Semenanjung and take whatever is best from Sabah.
“We are not a colonial party. We are a national party. We fight for the nation be it Sabahans or Sarawakians and people from the peninsula,” he said in reference to PH.
He said he did not think the Borneo Agenda versus Malaya Agenda is a matter of concern to the people anymore.
To a question with regard to Tun Mahathir Mohamad being nominated as the Prime Minister should the opposition win the next election, Muhyiddin urged Sabahans to stop holding a grudge against him.
“People think there will be a repeat of what he had done during his 22 years. I mean most of you have lived through his time as Prime Minister and saw how the country grew.
“You need to forget all the things that you have faced because there are bigger issues (such as the need for) better life, secure future and better education,” he said, while assuring that PH is committed to delivering them to the people.
Muhyiddin, who is also former Deputy Prime Minister, said although Mahathir had been Prime Minister for 22 years, this time around when holding the office under a PH government the situation will be different.
He explained that in the first place Mahathir’s nomination was endorsed through a consensus among parties.
“We believe he will act in accordance to what the coalition wants him to act as PM and guided by the policy spelled out by the PH presidential council.
“Of course he will be expressing his views but the other leaders of PH will also be expressing their views.
“He will be guided by the things he has promised to the people like the first 100 days, the release of Anwar Ibrahim through the process of law and the need to handle the difficulties the people are facing such as the abolishment of GST,” he said.
He also said Mahathir will be closely monitored by leaders of PH to make sure that he will fulfil the obligations.
“So what I am trying to say is although as Prime Minister, he will be serving a limited term of office not more than two terms and he will not sit as Finance Minister,” he added.
Also present were Sabah PKR Chief Christina Liew, Sabah DAP Chairman Stephen Wong and other party leaders in the coalition. – Leonard Alaza and Jeremy S Zabala (Daily Express Sabah)