Sabahans must unite first to throw BN out, says Shafie


KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah is not too concerned about opposition parties in the state forming a grand alliance to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in the next general election.

Warisan president Shafie Apdal said instead of picking and choosing which parties they wanted to form an alliance with, his party was more interested in making sure the people were united first.

“There have been rumours about a possible coalition with other parties. What is important for Warisan is for the people to be united first because if they are, we don’t need a coalition of parties.

“It is meaningless to have opposition parties united when the people’s votes are still divided,” he said during a Warisan event in Membakut today.

Shafie, a former federal minister of rural and regional development, cited as an example, one of Warisan’s members, Crispin Kitingan, the brother of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) founder Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) President Jeffrey Kitingan.

He said Crispin joined Warisan although both his brothers were presidents of two other parties, because he was concerned about the welfare of the future generation.

Shafie said he believed that if all Sabahans thought like Crispin, Warisan could take over the Sabah government with a strong majority in the next general election (GE14).

The Semporna MP also emphasised the importance of having a strong state government because he did not want Sabah to rely on Kuala Lumpur for every little decision they had to make.

“Now, everything must be referred to Kuala Lumpur. We must get KL’s approval whenever someone wishes to become a candidate or party division chief,” he said, alluding to the practice of peninsular-based parties such as Umno, being under the authority of the party’s leadership based in KL.

“When that time comes, when Warisan becomes the government, we will put an end to this,” Shafie said.

He also denied that his ultimate goal was to become Sabah’s next chief minister. Rather, he said, his goal was only to change the current government.

“DAP said we must follow them in order for one of us to become the chief minister. I want to ask, how many elections have DAP contested, yet we still do not have a DAP chief minister in Sabah.

“It is not for Gabungan Sabah or Pakatan Harapan to determine who will become the next chief minister. It is for the voters in Sabah to say so,” he said.

He also reminded the people not to worry about their votes being exposed as he understood many, particularly civil servants, were worried if their jobs would be affected if they voted for the opposition.

Shafie, who was an Umno vice-president until he quit the party in July last year, said he was in BN for a long time and could confirm that the party leadership had no idea who their members voted for.

In the last election, he said BN had already lost in the peninsular but only retained Putrajaya, thanks to the votes from Sabah and Sarawak.

“We have helped them appoint a prime minister for over 50 years. Yet, no one from here can become PM. Are we not good enough?

“One of us can be prime minister of this country. We can run the country so much better if they gave us a chance.

“However, for now, the most important thing is for them to treat us better and not deprive us of our rights,” Shafie said.

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