Anwar knows my stand on PM candidate, says Shafie

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal today said he had met opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Kuala Lumpur recently and conveyed his thoughts on the issue of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) prime minister candidate.

The Semporna MP did not specify if it was a lengthy discussion but indicated that he had discussed his candidature as prime minister as the solution to the impasse between Anwar and former leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“He wanted to meet me. We met in Parliament and I stated my stand on the matter that was suggested,” he told reporters after launching the state-level national month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign here.

“I believe they (PH) will have a meeting today to discuss it,” he added.

When asked about Anwar’s response, he said: “Of course he said something, but we will see how the discussions go because the suggestion is to ensure that I will be the solution.”

He said this was to prevent conflict between Mahathir and Anwar’s supporters.

“So, perhaps if I could unite the people, then it could be a good move. But let’s see how it goes.”

Last week, Anwar said PH would meet Shafie to voice support for the latter’s state government, which is said to be facing a political coup by the opposition.

Yesterday, DAP and Amanah said the opportunity to become prime minister should be given to Shafie if Anwar, who is PKR president, failed to obtain sufficient support from MPs to topple the Perikatan Nasional government.

In a statement, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, who previously supported PH’s stand to name Anwar as prime minister candidate, said the reality was that winning the next general election alone without Warisan and Mahathir’s faction would be difficult.

Speaking today, Shafie said he did not wish to dwell on who should be the candidate for prime minister.

However, he alluded to the possibility of someone from Sabah or Sarawak being given the post.

“It has been a long time since Sabahans or Sarawakians were considered (for the post),” he said.

He said he also told Anwar that the state government, comprising Warisan, Upko, DAP and PKR, remained intact despite allegations of attempts by certain quarters to destabilise his administration.

On another development, he said the state was looking at imposing a tax on the scrap iron industry to generate income for Sabah.

“We have to look at the sources and the volume. If it is encouraging, then we may impose the tax, but we don’t want it to hurt the industry.”