Sabah Umno, Warisan in a ‘karma’ war of words

Sabah Umno communications chief Ghazalie Ansing (left) says ex-deputy home minister Azis Jamman has forgotten how Warisan gained power.

KOTA KINABALU: A war of words has erupted between Warisan and Sabah Umno after the latter said the fall of the Pakatan Harapan federal government was karma for Warisan, referring to the way it formed the state government following the last general election.

Sabah Umno communications chief Ghazalie Ansing singled out former deputy home minister Azis Jamman, who is also the Warisan Youth chief, in his attack, saying Azis had somehow forgotten the manner in which Warisan gained power.

“It is as if Azis has forgotten the Warisan-led Sabah government was formed after Upko jumped (ship). This was after Barisan Nasional managed to obtain a majority with STAR (Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku) in the 2018 general election.

“Now karma has hit Warisan in the midst of its leaders being drunk with power. The power struggle has caused Pakatan Harapan and Warisan to lose power at the federal level.

“Warisan is now an opposition state government. Azis should be ashamed as he is now slamming Perikatan Nasional, which now rules Malaysia, and (who) is bound to return to Sabah,” he said in a statement today.

Ghazalie was responding to remarks made by Azis in the social media over the new ruling government yesterday.

In an immediate response, Azis said Ghazalie had got his facts wrong as what happened to BN in May 2018 was “the actual karma”.

He said Umno did not win in the 1994 state elections but because Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) representatives switched sides, BN was able to form the state government then.

“Umno would not have come to power had it not been for the defection of the PBS assemblymen. So what karma is he talking about?” he said, when contacted.

In the 1994 elections, PBS retained power in Sabah with 25 seats against 23 won by BN. However, several PBS assemblymen defected to align themselves with the Umno-led BN which then took over the state.

Ghazalie had also said that after Warisan assumed power in 2018, the party went on to rule Sabah as if it had obtained a clear mandate from the people when in reality BN, tied at 29 seats each with Warisan-PH, clinched a simple majority after STAR, which held the two remaining seats, supported BN.

Then, Warisan, without any shame, worked to win over the BN assemblymen to switch sides, he said.

On Perikatan taking over Sabah, Azis told Ghazalie to “continue dreaming” as it would never happen.

“I know Umno leaders are salivating at the thought of returning as the government in Sabah. But we are not like the state governments in Johor, Perak, Kedah and Melaka which have a slim majority.

“We have more than two-thirds majority in the state assembly. Warisan alone has 33 seats, including two nominated assemblymen.

“We are rock solid and here to stay, not for one term, but for a long time,” he said.

Warisan, DAP, PKR and Upko have 48 seats, including five nominated assemblymen, in the 65-member state assembly.

The opposition bloc has 17 seats, with PPBM holding nine, PBS four, STAR three, and Umno one.