KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal today criticised the Perikatan Nasional government for applying political pressure on his party’s elected representatives to secure more power.
Shafie said there was plenty of talk of efforts to “buy” his MPs and assemblymen, as well as allegations that his elected representatives were ready to ditch the state coalition of Warisan-DAP-PKR-Upko and crossover to PN.
“If they are confident they have the numbers, then run the country. Why do they need more representatives?
“I know there are efforts to buy my MPs and assemblymen. Even recently they claimed five of my MPs are ready to jump — but that’s normal,” he said in reference to a news report by Harian Metro.
“But don’t use any political pressure or harassment to ensure you get power. You can be sure this is not the way we (Pakatan Harapan-Warisan) run the country,” he said after receiving Covid-19 medical supplies from private organisations at his office here today.
Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony was questioned twice by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) before being served with a warrant to appear in court tomorrow to be charged with money laundering in connection with a previous land deal.
Shafie did not want to get into specifics when asked about the matter but questioned why such a probe on his Warisan vice-president was being done now.
Shafie said, at the same time, no action had been taken in cases of the past, including that involving the recovery of millions of ringgit in the Sabah Water Department.
The Semporna MP added that the previous PH administration could have acted like the PN by applying pressure on its political opponents to shore up its majority but did not do so.
“That’s because we were a responsible government that wanted to run the country — because we knew we had the numbers. But now we not only have Covid-19 but also a ‘political Covid’ to handle,” Shafie said.
On the meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan leaders, including PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, he said they had a long-drawn discussion on the fate of the country due to the political turmoil.
“We discussed many things because of the concerns surrounding the nation’s political state. We have to address and manage this for the sake of the people.
“One of the very issues I stand for in my political career is to fight corruption and kleptocracy but now we have a historical event where someone with 46 money laundering and corruption charges can be freed,” he said, referring to the charges against former chief minister Musa Aman being dropped yesterday.
Meanwhile, he said he was undaunted by talk of his government collapsing, now that Musa’s charges had been dropped.
“Whatever the challenges, we are still the government; we have the majority. But we can’t stop them, with the ‘voices’ saying they want to buy our reps. But this is a form of money politics —won’t the MACC look into this? Are they free to challenge us to take over with promises of rewards?”
Shafie issued a warning to those who were out to cause chaos in order to topple the current government. “Don’t turn Sabah upside down. You want to fight? I will fight you,” he said.
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