Semporna MP Shafie Apdal is "completely disconnected" with his constituency in Sabah which is buzzing with illegal immigrants from nearby Mindanao, Philippines.
I have been telling all along that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s blue-eyed boy, Shafie Apdal who is the Minister of Rural and Regional Development and one of the three Umno vice-presidents, is a failure in his Semporna constituency.
I wrote about Shafie in July last year and even touched on the actress Zahida Rafik who he was then rumoured to have married in London. Shafie, of course, denied all this.
And I had in that same blog posting said “lets wait and see how this story takes shape”.
Recently following a burst of allegations of power abuse by Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, came reports that Shafie had allegedly lavished RM1.5 million over a 4-month period on Zahida.
In a country that is no stranger to sex scandals in politics, the latest flare-up has been one of the strangest of all.
Most notably because Shafie had made a plaintive declaration that there had been “no” scandal at all to begin with.
Shafie brought the issue into the glare of national attention when he issued a statement seeking to end “continued and hurtful speculation” prompted by political bloggers concerning his alleged affair with Zahida and his RM1.5mil indulgence.
But what was strange in the story is that it was Zahida herself who started the commotion when she lodged a police report against her driver Nor Azman Azemi for absconding with RM200,000.
The driver to clear himself, then lodged his own report, revealing all details about his occupation and that he was hired by Shafie and told to monitor Zahida’s movements.
And that was when the fireworks started big-time and Shafie stepped it with his statement claiming that all that was stated by his alleged driver Noor Azman in the police report was untrue and there ends the scandal for now.
Semporna in neglect
Back to Shafie and his constituency Semporna. When Shafie was elected as MP for Semporna in 1995, east-coast Sabah dreamily believed that the numerous maladies in the community would cease to exist.
They believed that his election was indicative of a vigorous wind of political and social change that was blowing across Tawau, Lahad Datu and Semporna.
Shafie himself vowed that his election would demarcate the conclusion of grisly “politics as usual” from the commencement of political and democratic freshness.
However, as Shafie continues on, it is abundantly clear that he has not only failed to deliver in a general sense, but he has also completely betrayed his most loyal constituency — Semporna.
Semporna is badly neglected until now. The unemployment rate continues to rise and crime rate is not getting any lower.
There is no major development projects in Semporna. Drug related crimes are on the rise.
Semporna is infested with illegal immigrants, mostly Suluks from the nearby Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines. These illegals rule the town as though Semporna is part of Mindanao, in Philippines.
Shafie himself is a Suluk, but over the years he has completely disconnected with the Semporna community.
Sabah not Shafie’s concern
He has failed to articulate any policy that would deal with the crisis that is evident in Semporna.
Rather, Shafie is much more focused on articulating and enacting policies about issues that are close to his heart – such as becoming the next Chief Minister of Sabah.
He is now a potent mouthpiece to annihilate Musa’s vision to bring development and create economic prosperity to Sabah.
Looking at Semporna, any intellectually honest person in Sabah will come to the unavoidable conclusion that Sabah is the very least of Shafie’s concerns.
So obvious is this fact that even some of Shafie’s most ardent supporters in Semporna have begun voicing strident denunciations of their MP.
The latest assault on Shafie from his Umno Sabah compatriots is evidence of this phenomenon.
This is an excerpt from the author’s blog selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com