TAWAU: Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal has dismissed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s claim that Sabah will suffer if the people vote Barisan Nasional (BN) out in the coming polls.
Shafie said Sabah would not fall or suffer further without Umno. In fact, he said, by voting out BN, the people could expect a change for the better.
“There’s no Umno in Sarawak, yet they’re okay with a local party, and there’s no Umno in Penang or Selangor, yet these two states are doing well with plenty of benefits enjoyed by the people,” said Shafie, who was once an Umno vice-president, at a gathering in Balung here today.
Shafie was in Tawau a day after Najib had visited the east coast district following a trip to Sandakan on April 30.
Najib had told the people in both districts that Sabah would suffer if the people voted BN out, but Shafie assured the people who had gathered today that the prime minister had been repeating the same thing each time he visited the state.
Shafie said Najib and his allies were forever making promises of a better deal for Sabah but these had not been fulfilled.
“People want jobs, they want better schools and not the wooden shacks that we have. We demand better health facilities, good roads and all the facilities people in Malaya enjoy,” he said.
“A Warisan government will follow up on all our promises, and the people will see change for the better.
“We will ensure there are enough schools and hospitals and make sure that the hospitals have enough medical personnel, including specialists, in all districts and, more importantly, much-needed medicine.”
Shafie, the incumbent Semporna MP, who is defending his seat for the sixth term and also contesting the Senallang state seat in the constituency, reminded people of the reasons why he left Umno in 2016.
“I left because the Umno of today is not the same party that I joined and promoted.
“Back then, they helped the people, but now they are only burdening the people and it’s getting worse,” said Shafie.
“The nation’s debts are escalating, aggravated by the 1MDB scandal. Now, who’s going to pay for these debts? Who will service the loans?
“I advised him (Najib) as a friend to take action and do something about the 1MDB scandal. For that, he got rid of me from the federal Cabinet just to try and shut me up.
“But I will not cower like the BN politicians who apple polish Najib for their political survival. And that’s why Warisan was set up – not for my political survival but for the survival of all Sabahans.”
Shafie said he was not willing to be involved in gutter politics, stressing that Najib had lied when he said that Shafie wanted to be the chief minister.
“I was perfectly happy being rural and regional development minister.
“I was paid a RM40,000 salary a month with all the perks but I sacrificed all that because I knew that not only Sabah but the whole country was going down the drain.”
He also questioned BN’s pledge to develop Sabah, saying that while it was rich with resources such as timber, oil and gas as well as tourism revenue, the state had remained the poorest in Malaysia.
He also urged the people not to vote “rabble rousers” into power as Sabahans needed representatives who would speak out and push for the needs of the people.
“We want MPs who can speak out in Parliament and not rabble rousers who can’t even utter decent sentences and instead shame Sabahans with gutter politics,” he said.
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