Shafie’s letters were between BN friends, says Warisan man

Najib Razak yesterday accused Warisan president Shafie Apdal of having often rejected open tenders, and preferring limited tenders.

KOTA KINABALU: A Warisan Supreme Council member, defending party leader Shafie Apdal against allegations on project tenders, said today that Shafie’s actions were within his capacity as federal rural development minister then.

Warisan information chief Yusof Yacob said Shafie, who is now Sabah chief minister, had not crossed any line in insisting that some open tenders be made limited tenders as well as writing appeal letters when they were rejected by then prime minister Najib Razak.

“Shafie had also asked the right person in this matter as Najib was the prime minister at the time. Shafie had done all this in his capacity as a federal minister and out of respect to Najib, who was his former boss.”

Yesterday, Najib had accused Warisan president Shafie of having often rejected open tenders and preferring limited tenders. He also said Shafie would write letters of appeal whenever his requests were rejected.

Yusof said he also believed Shafie had made these requests not for himself or on behalf of followers seeking his help to convert the tenders to limited offers.

Yusof also said if there were others involved in asking Shafie to do so, they would also have been Umno members.

“Actually, this is a matter between friends who jointly ran the previous government and, therefore, there was no reason to raise it. Such matters are like those between a husband and wife’ in a marriage; both know their strengths and weaknesses,” said Yusof.

He added: “It is not good, and it’s immoral, for the wife or husband to expose each other’s flaws to others when going through a divorce. Maybe, one day, either party might consider getting back together.”

Shafie, then an Umno vice-president, was dismissed from Najib’s Cabinet in 2015 after making criticisms regarding the 1MDB scandal. He was suspended from Umno a year later and left the party on July 4, 2016. He later formed Warisan, which took over the state government after the 2018 general election.

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