PETALING JAYA: Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal has called for an end to politicking and a focus on helping Sabahans, in the wake of recent speculation that his state government was in danger of collapsing through defections.
In a statement today, Shafie said political bickering would not help citizens deal with the economic hardships they faced as a result of the pandemic.
Last week, Umno and other state opposition parties were believed to have almost secured enough support for a simple majority in the state assembly, with several assemblymen said to have switched allegiance. State DAP leaders have alleged that millions had been offered to secure defections.
Besides state politics, Shafie had also been named as a possible candidate to be prime minister should Pakatan Harapan and allies succeed in bringing down the Perikatan Nasional federal government.
In his statement today, Shafie said that Sabah’s unemployment rate had reached more than 100,000. “We should not continue wasting time in politicking. Instead, the priority now is to ensure the fate of the people is protected,” he said.
Shafie said the state government is always ready to cooperate with the federal government to address the needs of people in the state, saying that it should not be seen as a means to gain popularity but to save the country.
Umno, PPBM, STAR and PBS have the votes of 20 assemblymen, including three independents, one of whom is a nominated member. They need 13 more seats to attain a simple majority in the 65-seat state assembly.
The state government is made up of Warisan, Upko, DAP and PKR, while the federal government is made up of Perikatan Nasional, comprising Barisan Nasional, PPBM, PAS and others.
Implement agreement on MA63 issues, says Shafie
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat today, Shafie, who is MP for Semporna, urged the government to implement 17 of 21 issues about the Malaysia Agreement 1963 that had been agreed on by a special Cabinet committee.
“The PH government had approved 17 of the 21 issues. The remaining ones are oil royalty issues and petroleum cash payments; oil minerals and oil fields; Territorial Sea Act 2012; and state rights over the continental shelf.
“I hope the issues can be resolved. The government today can continue because we want to build the nation. Don’t debate about race and religion because they will not be beneficial,” he said during the debate on a motion of thanks for the royal address by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.