Sabah govt won’t collapse, says DAP leader

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal (left) has the full support of his colleagues, says Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon.

KOTA KINABALU: Acting Sabah DAP chairman Frankie Poon has dismissed the notion that the new Perikatan Nasional at federal level is poised to take over the state government from the present ruling coalition.

Poon, who is Tanjong Papat assemblyman, also rejected the idea that it was a matter of time before the Sabah government fell, saying the state assemblymen from Warisan, DAP, PKR and Upko were all behind chief minister and Warisan president Shafie Apdal.

“It can never happen because as far as I am concerned, there is no issue under the Warisan and Shafie’s leadership.

“I’m happy with his leadership, as I am also a minister in his Cabinet. Everybody is, too. He is leading Sabah well and has been actively campaigning for the state’s interests,” the health and people’s wellbeing minister said.

Poon was speaking to reporters after launching his ministry’s upgraded website and presenting excellence awards to ministry staff at a hotel here today.

There have been media reports saying Perikatan is eyeing to take over the state governments in Kedah, Melaka, Perak, Johor and Sabah, claiming they had the support to do so.

Yesterday, Sabah Umno Youth chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain had said it was a matter of time before the Warisan-led state government collapsed.

Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon (third from right) presents an excellence award to a ministry staff in Kota Kinabalu today.

He hoped the new federal coalition would not accept Warisan into its fold, because Shafie had declared support for interim prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and because PH intended to push for a no-confidence vote against new premier Muhyiddin Yassin.

Poon dismissed Aziz’s remarks as merely “political talk”, saying the ruling coalition in Sabah had the majority of the seats in the state assembly.

“We have 48 assemblymen (including five nominated members) in the 65-member state assembly. You need more than 31 to change the government.

“We are all solidly behind the current government, no issue about that.

“Of course, there’s no need to ask DAP – we have always been united and firm in our commitment to this government, even before the formation of the government then in 2018,” he said.

Asked about the possibility of assemblymen switching sides in light of the developments at the federal level, Poon said horse-trading was a normal occurrence but this was only applicable at the national level.

Meanwhile, Sabah PKR has refuted concerns raised by its own members that Warisan may ditch the electoral partnership with PH due to the power shift at the federal level.

In a Facebook page update, the party said the concerns raised by some state chapter leaders did not reflect the stand of Sabah PKR.

“The views expressed by the unnamed Sabah PKR leader in an FMT report does not reflect the view and the stand of Sabah PKR at all.

“Sabah PKR remains solid behind the leadership of Mohd Shafie Apdal, who is the chief minister of Sabah,” the party said.

On Monday, a couple of division leaders expressed fear that Warisan might no longer honour the partnership due to the power shift from PH to Perikatan Nasional, the coalition comprising PPBM, Barisan Nasional, PAS and former PKR MPs linked to sacked deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.