Sabah DAP wants Shafie option kept open

Ten Sabah DAP leaders have said it is time for an East Malaysian to be appointed prime minister.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP leaders have urged Pakatan Harapan not to dismiss the proposal to name Chief Minister Shafie Apdal as its prime minister candidate even though PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim has been chosen as the coalition’s candidate.

Ten DAP leaders in the state said in a statement that while they respected the PH decision, they also wanted them “not to entirely (deny) East Malaysians the opportunity to lead the nation”.

They said: “It is critical for the leaders in PH to be conscious and aware of who their friends and foes are. The Sabah chief minister and Warisan head had from the start stood by PH through thick and thin.

“We (Sabah DAP) stick by our stand that it is time for an East Malaysian to lead Malaysia as there has been no prime minister from this region before.”

They noted that the previous PH federal government had comprised PPBM, DAP, PKR and Amanah, but also included those from East Malaysian parties, especially Warisan and Upko.

The 10 Sabah DAP leaders comprise three MPs, a senator and six assembly members. They are: acting state chairman Frankie Poon, secretary Chan Foong Hin, treasurer Ronnie Loh Ee Eng, vice-chairman Noorita Sual, adviser Jimmy Wong Sze Phin, youth chief Phoong Jin Zhe, Wanita chief Jannie Lasimbang, assistant secretary Tan Lee Fat, Senator Adrian Banie Lasimbang, Elopura state assemblyman Calvin Chong and Sandakan MP Vivian Wong Shir Yee.

Pakatan Harapan’s presidential council had announced that they supported Anwar as the coalition’s prime minister candidate.

The PH leaders, Anwar, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, said PH was committed to its original stand to name the PKR president as its prime minister in the event it wins back power. They said they also discussed the proposal for Shafie to be nominated for the top post.

The Sabah DAP leaders said no political coalition could rule the nation without the support of East Malaysians.

“As such, we believe that the option for Shafie to be prime minister candidate should remain open as long as Sabah remains an integral part of Malaysia,” they said.

They said Shafie had managed to unite people from diverse racial and religious backgrounds and was “more than qualified” to become prime minister.

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