Kitingan says Shafie feeling the heat over defections

Jeffrey Kitingan says Shafie Apdal is talking like a gangster about political defections.

PETALING JAYA: Sabah’s chief minister has been described as talking like a street gangster for making threats against his political opponents amid talk that some of his colleagues would defect to another party.

Jeffrey Kitingan, president of state opposition party STAR, said it was unbecoming of Chief Minister Shafie Apdal, who is president of the ruling Warisan party, to “talk like a street gangster, issuing threats and warnings in an attempt to scare off his opponents.”

Kitingan speculated that Shafie must be feeling the pressure, in making a combative response when asked about the possibility of a few of his elected representatives ditching the Warisan-DAP-PKR-Upko coalition.

“Why is he so agitated and visibly upset if his so-called men are solidly behind him? More importantly, why is there a need to call for a show of solidarity if the coalition is intact?” he said in a statement.

On Thursday, Shafie had issued a strongly-worded warning to the Perikatan Nasional federal government about political pressure being put on his elected representatives.

Shafie vowed not to relent in the face of PN’s “grand plan” to convince his MPs and assemblymen to move to PN.

He said this grand plan involved promising political rivals positions and financial gains to join their ranks. One of his MPs, Mohammadin Ketapi (Silam), had been contacted by former Umno federal minister Anifah Aman on three separate occasions to leave, Shafie had said.

However, Kitingan alleged that Shafie had previously lured Barisan Nasional assemblyman and MPs to switch allegiance and bring down the state government, which could be the reason he feared talk about Warisan MPs defecting.

After the 2018 general election, BN formed a state government after Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku aligned its two state seats with BN, breaking a tie with Warisan-PH in the 60-seat state assembly.

However, defections from several Umno and Upko assemblymen soon gave Shafie a simple majority.

Hypocritical of Shafie to question MACC probe on Peter Anthony.

Kitingan also criticised Shafie’s questioning of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s arrest of Warisan vice-president Peter Anthony in a money-laundering investigation. Anthony is state minister of infrastructure development.

Kitingan said Shafie must have selective memory about his predecessor, Musa Aman, facing corruption charges after Pakatan Harapan came into power, despite the case being cleared by Hong Kong and Malaysian authorities.

Earlier this week, the Attorney-General’s Chambers withdrew 46 corruption and money-laundering charges against Musa, who was acquitted and discharged.

Kitingan said the people should not forget that the charges against Musa appeared overnight just as quickly as the prosecution dropped a corruption case against Shafie, involving allocations of RM1.5 billion when he was federal rural development minister.

“Shafie should get off his high horse as he is in no position to preach about the evils of promising positions, monetary gains and political intimidation. It is highly hypocritical of him to talk about values and pride,” said Kitingan.

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