Shafie knows what he’s talking about, says Leiking

Darrell Leiking (centre) with new Penampang district officer Robert Stidi (third from left) and Warisan members after the launching of the party’s Kepayan service centre.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah deputy president Darell Leiking has come to the defence of Chief Minister Shafie Apdal over recent attacks by opposition members, saying the Warisan president knows his stuff.

Shafie, who is the Warisan president, came under heavy criticism this week for his statement over the state’s finances and the Tanjung Aru Eco-Development project.

Leiking, who is Penampang MP, fired back at the opposition over the state’s finances, saying state finance assistant minister Kenny Chua had cleared the air on the issue.

“I’ve not spoken to the CM about it but I know he knows what he’s talking about.

“Surely, the new opposition who were in the know on how much money and reserves we (Sabah) have should tell the truth on the state’s fiscal position.

“The CM has openly spoken on the kind of reserves we have. But, also the same time, we have debts with the federal government, about RM3.8 billion, I think,” said the international trade and industry minister.

Apas BN assemblyman Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan had contended that Shafie had contradicted himself during the state assembly sitting this week that the state finances were actually healthy despite previously claiming Sabah was in debt.

Former state assistant minister Ramlee Marahaban echoed the same sentiments, noting Shafie’s announcement on the possible resumption of the Tanjung Aru project also went against pledges from his own Cabinet members to scrap the project if Warisan came to power.

Speaking to reporters after opening Warisan’s Kepayan service centre here today, Leiking said the state government had yet to make any decision on the development project.

“I read that the CM will review it. Probably they will, although I don’t know exactly what is the plan. I read somewhere that they will reduce the acreage. And this is what people have been asking for.

“Why take so big a piece of land? So, it’s for the benefit of the people. Let’s give the CM some time … maybe it is not the same as the one proposed by the previous private contractor or government,” he said.

Asked on his thoughts about the attacks on Shafie, he said: “They are learning to be a good opposition … very good for them.

“It’s their duty now to keep us on our toes and it’s good they are learning. I was in the opposition for five years, so I hope they learn what I learned then.”

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