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Be cool, Upko man tells Shafie’s supporters

 | October 23, 2017

Arthur Sen says the public should consider the lot of rural people affected by corruption instead of worrying over the fate of politicians.

arthur-senKOTA KINABALU: Upko Youth chief Arthur Sen has urged supporters of Shafie Apdal to maintain their composure in the face of his arrest and provisional detention on suspicion of corruption.

“I see that too many people are getting emotional over the matter and accusing the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) of selective prosecution,” he told FMT.

Shafie was arrested last Thursday when he presented himself at the MACC office. He was remanded for four days starting Friday.

Sen said he understood the outpouring of support for the Parti Warisan Sabah president, but he called on the public to look at the situation objectively.

“The truth is that nobody is above the law,” he said. “Besides, it’s not just Shafie and other Warisan leaders who have been detained. The list of witnesses includes important Sabah Umno leaders and non-politicians.

“If the investigation is an attempt to intimidate Warisan, then BN people would be left untouched.”

Sen said people should, instead of sympathising with politicians, consider the loss that Sabah’s rural folk had suffered as a result of the alleged embezzlement of funds meant for rural development.

“We all want good governance because we all pay taxes. We want to live in a developed nation and we want our rural folk to enjoy good basic infrastructure.”

He urged Shafie’s supporters to acknowledge that it was normal for MACC to detain witnesses for investigation and said there was nothing for them to worry about if he was innocent.

Besides, he pointed out, Shafie had repeatedly said he would assist in the investigation.

He also said the investigation was an opportunity for Shafie to clear his name.

“Shafie and the others who have been detained are innocent until proven guilty,” he added.

“But some groups are already playing politics by branding this as selective prosecution or political intimidation.”

It has been reported that MACC is scrutinising a total of 72 projects out of an original list of 350 under the ministry of rural and regional development for suspected embezzlement to the tune of RM1.5 billion. The projects were planned for implementation between 2009 and 2015, when Shafie was the minister.

More than 45 people have been questioned since the probe began two weeks ago.

Opposition leaders have alleged that the investigation is politically motivated and is aimed at smearing Warisan’s image ahead of the 14th general election, but Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and MACC have denied this.

Shafie is a former vice-president of Umno. He quit the party last year after his membership was suspended following his public criticism of Prime Minister Najib Razak over the 1MDB affair.

He formed Warisan as an opposition party focused on Sabah and quickly attracted wide support, including from some state PKR and DAP leaders, who switched to the party.


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