Christina Torn Between Two Leaders


KOTA KINABALU: Her heart goes out to the idea of Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal becoming Prime Minister but, the reality is, she may have to ultimately toe the party line. Herein lies Datuk Christina Liew’s dilemma.

Liew, who is Sabah PKR chief, is thrilled by the possibility that Shafie, who is Chief Minister, would become the first Sabahan, first East Malaysian in fact, to assume the top job.

“It has been more than half a century and we finally have a Sabah leader with Prime Minister quality to lead the nation,” she said during an evening Facebook live discussion on the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president’s nomination as prime ministerial candidate yesterday.

“Shafie is an experienced administrator at both the federal and state levels. He is a man of vision and mission. As Sabahans, we are happy to see this happening.”

But Liew, who is Deputy Chief Minister, is also acutely aware that her party supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had always been PKR’s choice as the rightful candidate.

She explained that Anwar was equally qualified and capable of stepping up to become Prime Minister. 

She said Sabah PKR was consistent in its stand that Anwar should be Prime Minister in line with the Pakatan Harapan’s decision that Anwar should be given the job.

“PKR, DAP and Amanah and also Sabah PKR have been consistent in supporting Anwar, it is a fact everybody knows.”

The problem, she said, was the protracted power tussle between Anwar and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ever since PH lost its grip on power in March.

Liew said PKR was now faced with two issues which have to do with deciding between PH’s initial agreement that Anwar was to be Prime Minister and the recent announcement by Dr Mahathir, nominating Shafie as PH Plus candidate for the premiership.

“I’ve been communicating with Anwar and we (Sabah PKR) are waiting for the component parties at the headquarters to make a final decision on the way forward ,” she said.

But on a personal level, Liew welcomed the proposal for Shafie to be the next Prime Minister, saying she believed many federal-state issues could be resolved with an East Malaysian at the helm of the federal government.

Also participating in the 90-minute discussion were Warisan vice president Datuk Junz Wong and Warisan women’s youth deputy chief Joanna Rampas.