KOTA KINABALU: An association representing over 40 ethnicities in Sabah has questioned the sincerity of Warisan after an NGO backed by the party demanded that former Umno leaders pledge allegiance to Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.
Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Youth Council adviser Ceasar Mandela Malakun told FMT that it was strange for the chairman of Pergerakan Pemantau Sukarelawan (Pantau Penampan) Jo Nandu to make such a demand in this day and age.
“These days, one’s pledge of allegiance is usually to one’s country, state and flag. We are no longer living in Dark Ages. Even the prime minister never demanded such a thing,” he said.
Yesterday, Nandu reportedly said that besides the pledge of allegiance, PPBM should also sign an understanding with Warisan, PKR and DAP that the ruling party shall hold the exclusive rights for the majority of the seats.
Nandu said this understanding would strengthen Shafie’s position in administrating the state.
It is rumoured that former Sabah Umno leaders, who left the party in December last year, are expected to join PPBM en masse once the party is officially launched in Sabah.
“This, to me, is totally unnecessary as it should be left to the rakyat to decide,” Malakun said.
“Clearly, from Nandu’s statement, Warisan is all consumed with retaining its power to lead the state and, more importantly, to ensure Shafie remains the chief minister.
“It would seem that Warisan is demanding allegiance, obligations and agreements because it is afraid of losing power and the chief ministership,” he said.
Malakun also said Nandu’s demands reflect a sense of insecurity and lack of trust in Warisan’s own alliance following the entry of PPBM.
“So, I very much question the sincerity of Warisan in accepting PPBM in Sabah,” he said.
Malakun, who contested against Warisan deputy president and now International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking in Penampang on a BN-Upko ticket in last year’s general election, said PPBM was actually gaining support in Sabah.
He believed the party could help forge greater unity in the state as it has a solid platform that can unite the indigenous population in Sabah.
While Shafie has accepted that he cannot stop PPBM from spreading its wings to Sabah, there have been numerous negative comments by Warisan leaders and supporters.
Even though Shafie has claimed that, with a total of 45 out of 65 seats (including five nominated assemblymen) in the state legislative assembly, the state government is stable and strong, his party and its supporters have appeared quite jittery about PPBM’s decision to enter Sabah.