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PBS President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili (fourth from left) at the PBS Chinese New Year open house today. NSTP/POLIANA RONNIE SIDOM.

SANDAKAN: There is greater opportunity to develop Sabah if it is led by leaders from existing state-based parties, said Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

Its president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said although a political party, particularly from the peninsula, was free to establish its branch nationwide, it was better for local-based parties to take the lead in fighting for the people.

“PBS is of the view that it is better for Sabah people to unite and fight for their rights. The impact is bigger if the people of Sabah take the lead through an existing party like PBS.

“It will be easy for Sabah to develop and achieve the state’s development goals,” he told reporters after attending PBS Chinese New Year open house here today.

Maximus was commenting on Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) plan to spread its wings to the state despite having agreement with Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) during the 14th General Election, that it would not go to Sabah.

Yesterday, Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the party was not subject to anyone’s opinion, including Warisan, and it would discuss within the party whether to establish its presence in the state.

Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is also state chief minister, had recently met with Dr Mahathir and said that Bersatu would keep its words.

Shafie had said there was no necessity for the peninsula-based party to have a presence in Sabah with Warisan being in the state.

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