KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Najib Razak revealed that former rural and regional development minister Shafie Apdal had previously come to him and pleaded to contest a state seat in Sabah.
“He didn’t say outright that it was because he wanted to become the chief minister. But what else could his request mean?
“I told him ‘no’ because he was already a senior minister with an important portfolio and he should carry on his job of helping the people.
“He left after I said that, but I really didn’t expect him to hold a grudge.
“He was just waiting for the right opportunity to stab me in the back for that,” he told more than 10,000 people who attended the meet-the-people event in Kalabakan, Tawau, today.
Najib said Shafie, who is now the president of the local opposition Parti Warisan Sabah, was appointed minister because he thought someone from Sabah and Sarawak would know the needs of the people there better.
“I could have appointed someone from the peninsula or Sarawak. But I picked him because I thought he would do a good job,” he said.
Unfortunately, Najib said when Shafie was given the important post, it seemed like the power went to his head and the rest was history.
Earlier in his speech, Najib told the crowd that Sabah should not be treated simply as BN’s fixed deposit state because the voters and the state are much more than that.
“Sabah is a loyal friend to BN. In good times and in bad, Sabah has never wavered in its support for BN. Only those with a personal agenda will leave,” he said.
Present were Chief Minister Musa Aman and Kalabakan Umno chief Ghapur Salleh as well as all BN candidates in the Kalabakan and Tawau federal constituencies.