Warisan is no PBS to be toppled by defection, says party man

Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua (left) says all assemblynmen are solidly behind chief minister Shafie Apdal.

PETALING JAYA: After coming to power through political defections in 2018, the ruling Warisan party has now become the subject of speculation that it will fall, also because of defections.

But the party’s secretary-general, Loretto Padua Jr, remains confident that the party will stay in power.

Warisan is no PBS, says Padua, and their 33 assemblymen will not be jumping ship, he says. “All the assemblymen are solidly behind Chief Minister Shafie Apdal. And our allies in DAP and PKR are also loyal to their party,” he told FMT.

He ruled out the prospect of any Sabah PKR assemblymen quitting the party to join former deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is now with Perikatan Nasional, the ruling federal coalition.

Defections are a common feature of Sabah politics. A PBS-run state government, the last to be run by an “opposition” party, was toppled after assemblymen from the ruling PBS switched to Barisan Nasional after the 1994 state elections.

But Padua remains convinced that present-day assemblymen have taken note of the freedom and autonomy enjoyed by Sabah under Warisan, which unlike its predecessor, did not need to take instructions from Putrajaya.

Warisan remains an ally of Pakatan Harapan even after the coalition lost power in February with the resignation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.

“In Sabah we make our own decisions, there is no need to answer to Kuala Lumpur, even when PH controlled the federal government,” he said.

Warisan was different from PBS in that all communities, both on Sabah’s east and west coasts, were well represented in the state assembly and in the government, ensuring stability and unity in the state, he said.

On the impact of the arrest of Warisan vice-president Peter Anthony over money laundering charges, Padua said he believed the people will see through the MACC’s action against him.
He questioned why charges were brought against Anthony only now, after corruption and money laundering charges against former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman were dropped.

“I think the charges against Anthony, and the rumours of people leaving Warisan are only because we do not support Perikatan Nasional,” he said.

“We are not bothered, our focus is Sabah, and Warisan will survive.”

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