KOTA KINABALU: Silam MP Nasrun Mansur has dismissed the notion that Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) alone can pose a serious challenge to the state’s Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government in the coming general election (GE14).
“I think they may be able to win one or two seats, but if they think they can win the state on their own, that is simply not going to happen,” he told FMT.
Nasrun was commenting on a statement by Warisan president Shafie Apdal, who had said the party was not keen on establishing a formal collaboration with other opposition parties at the moment.
Shafie also implied that he believes Warisan will be able to form the state government if the people are united and rally behind it.
The Sabah-centric Warisan, which was launched in October last year, is a relative newcomer to the state’s political scene. However, its popularity rose quickly, especially in Sabah’s east coast, thanks to Shafie’s charisma.
Other well-known opposition leaders in Warisan’s ranks include Penampang MP Darell Leiking, Likas assemblyman Junz Wong and Sulabayan assemblyman Jaujan Sambakong, who left Umno when Shafie’s membership there was suspended.
Shafie left Umno in July 2016 after being sacked from the federal cabinet in July 2015.
Speaking to FMT, Nasrun said Warisan was not a new party, but a “splinter party” of Umno.
“Just like Semangat 46 before this and PKR today.
“Before the people get too excited about Warisan, they need to remember that never in the history of elections in the country have splinter parties toppled Umno,” he said.
Nasrun, who is also the plantation industries and commodities deputy minister, said even PAS was a splinter party of Umno, and that its leaders had decided to leave after their demands were not met.
“Even after 13 general elections, PAS still could not defeat Umno despite its best efforts, even after forming an alliance with DAP,” he said.
In the end, he said, many of these former Umno members would rejoin the party because they would come to realise that Umno at least had a long-term direction, while their parties were formed because they were angry and wanted to get back at Umno.
“All these parties were established for personal reasons. Their founders were disappointed because they could not get what they wanted.
“Any party that was formed just to satisfy one’s ego will never succeed,” he said.
He also expressed confidence that BN would triumph in the coming election as the people could see that it was the only truly united coalition.
He said any splits in the opposition would only increase BN’s chances of victory in GE14.