KOTA KINABALU: The youth chiefs from the ruling Sabah parties, with the exception of PKR, today declared their support for Chief Minister Shafie Apdal to be named as the prime minister candidate in the event of a snap election.
The youth chiefs from Warisan, Sabah Amanah, DAP and Upko said the choice of Shafie could be a solution to the current political unrest.
“We are calling for politicians from all sides, elected representatives and Malaysians to consider the suggestion as a solution to the political turmoil that is happening in the country,” Sabah DAP Youth chief Phoong Jin Zhe, who led the group in a meeting today, said.
“We are also planning to reach out to all opposition leaders to be onboard with us on realising the first prime minister coming from Borneo,” he said.
Others at the meeting included Khairuddin Daud of Sabah Amanah, Felix Saang of Upko and Mohd Ismail Ayob of Warisan Wira.
Phoong, who is also the state youth and sports minister, said the PKR youth chief declined an invitation to attend the talks.
He noted that PKR had remained silent since the idea of Shafie as prime minister candidate, with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and former PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir as his deputies, was mooted over the weekend.
“But we still hope they will come onboard eventually. Give them some time. I think all Sabahans, regardless of political, race and religious background, will want to work together on this,” he said.
Earlier, Sabah PH Youth secretary Razeef Rakimin called on PH component parties to analyse the proposal first and refrain from issuing any statements until the PH presidential council, which is scheduled to meet on Friday, makes an official announcement.
“Any statements, whether from the youth from PKR, Amanah or DAP, are only personal views and do not reflect the consensus of Sabah PH Youth,” Razeef, who is also the Sabah PKR Youth information chief, said.
He said the PH component parties must avoid falling into a political trap, which could destroy the coalition.
He said while it was the aspiration of those in Sabah to have the first prime minister from the state, the criteria on who is more qualified should be taken into consideration.
“Sabah PH Youth should be more focused in preparing for a potential 15th general election,” he said.
Sabah PKR chief criticised for silence
Meanwhile, former Sabah Wanita PKR chief Rahimah Majid has criticised the party’s state chief, Christina Liew, for her silence on the matter.
Rahimah, who was sacked by PKR for openly attacking top party leaders, said Liew should be more like her Sabah DAP counterparts, who have been vocal on the issue.
“I believe Liew’s silence is to protect her own political interests.
“She does not want to disobey her president Anwar Ibrahim and, at the same time, offend chief minister Shafie,” she said.
Rahimah said Liew, who is also the Sabah PH chairman, was in a tight spot and may have to leave PKR if she supported the proposal.
Liew’s silence, which she described as “mind-numbing”, could also be because the party had issued a gag order, she said.
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