Do-Or-Die Mission For Shafie Apdal, Musa Come GE14; A ‘Bee Gees’ Budget


COMMENT: It is an open secret that Musa Aman and Shafie Apdal, the Parti Warisan Sabah President, don’t see eye to eye on many fronts even when the latter was still with UMNO.

The Sabah Chief Minister was reportedly instrumental in getting Shafie suspended from UMNO at the June 24 Supreme Council meeting last year – it was said that the Semporna warlord was performing the Umrah at that time and was not present to defend himself.

Shafie eventually resigned to start his Parti Warisan after criticising UMNO President/Prime Minister over the scandalous 1MDB issue. He was one of those who dared query wrongdoings in Umno and the government, yet it seemed that Najib was hesitant to terminate his one-time ally.

Feelers have been sent out to coax Shafie to rejoin UMNO – as multi-racial Warisan picked up strength in all corners of Sabah – but he has been steadfast in wanting to lead Warisan to take on BN this coming election.

Those in Musa’s camp said Shafie had always wanted to be the Chief Minister of Sabah, and those in Shafie’s camp said Musa had overstayed. Both sides are correct.

Huge crowds of people from all walks of life, race and religion, turned up outside the Kota Kinabalu courts when Shafie had his remand extended and again when he was released last week. A Warisan leader said someone had donated 3,200 ‘tapau’ mixed rice and it was all snapped up on the first day.

To keen observers of Sabah politics, many were not surprised when Shafie, upon his release on bail Friday after being probed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over rural development projects in Sabah said he would reveal more soon about his arrest and remand.

It was rather telling that he said he would reveal more in Parliament and asked knowingly “how many companies does Musa have?”

He also claimed those behind the probe were determined to see him fall from grace, but this had made him more determined to take on UMNO-BN and was even willing to die for the cause.

The bitter rivalry is now out in the open, and the 14th general election is going to be a do or die mission for both sides.

In Malaysia, the political intrigues and skulduggery is definitely not meant for the faint hearted as the stakes are high.

Shafie speaking to his key leaders in Semporna on Saturday before he went out to address a crowd of his supporters, numbered in the thousands.

While UMNO has been having a relatively easy ride since it set foot in Sabah, but this time round, many expect Warisan to give UMNO a good fight.

While UMNO has all the resources at their disposal compared to fledgling Warisan, the voters are better informed now, they reasoned.

Many think MA63 will be the main thrust during the election as voters want it complied with, come what may.

The big crowds that showed up at the court house area when Shafie was first remanded and his subsequent release surprised many. It shows that Warisan has a solid following which cuts across racial lines, and it is the real thing.

Shafie is soft spoken and appears a gentle and humble person from the outside, after spending 30 years with UMNO and rose to be the third powerful man in the party, he is not short of experience and grit.

A volunteer putting the finishing touches to a backdrop for Shafie’s get-together with the rakyat at his Kampung Bubul residence.

And after serving as deputy and full federal minister in various capacities, he really understands how politics is played in Malaysia inside out.

Also a man with quiet charisma, he is a good speaker and knows how to get the crowd eating out of his hands, and you would not mind listening to what he has to say.

Definitely he is an accomplished communicator compared to other politicians around. Musa with his strong business background is more of an administrator than a communicator.

While many old timers here see some similarities with Warisan and PBS that upstaged Berjaya party in 1985, the actual situation then compared to the present is not the same.

Sabah’s demography for one had changed where the Chinese played the role of kingmakers at that time, the Muslim bumiputera can actually stand on their own now the way the seats are arranged.

Only a Muslim leader can upset the cosy arrangement.

And the people turned out in droves to listen to their leader pledge to speak out against corrupt leaders who have got off so far.

Shafie is the man; the powers that be can see the signs and feel threatened, hence according to his supporters, the reason why the MACC came after him and he was remanded.

They see the whole episode as “victimisation”, in view of some clear cases in Malaya where the perpetrators who are with UMNO are not probed. Similarly, there are many other cases in Sabah that needs to be probed.

Someone wants Shafie tainted and embarrassed before the elections. His rivals want the people to think that he is corrupt. That is perception.

Shafie’s supporters see this as” injustice” and they are very unhappy because fairness to them is in short supply in this country.

Shafie’s brother, Yusof, claim that the probe was not politically motivated, as he himself who is an UMNO Assemblyman for Lahad Datu was also remanded, was laughed off as the ‘joke of the year’ by Warisan supporters.

If the intention for remanding Shafie was to give negative perception to the public at large, his supporters see him as a victim and he has also gained sympathy from the fence sitters as well.

The call by Warisan for crowd-funding to pay for Shafie’s bail had managed to collect RM102,659.50 in barely two days. This spoke volumes of the commitment of his supporters and the love they have for him.

Shafie returned to his Semporna stronghold on Saturday and is mobbed by his supporters. – Photo courtesy of themalaysianinsight

To them, he is a hero and is held in high esteem because he dared to take on powerful people and trying to change the existing lop sided, unhealthy system when like the rest he could easily play along and act dumb.

He knew what he was in for, from a powerful third man in UMNO and a federal minister leading a very comfortable life and to end up sleeping on the cold floor of MACC cell, took courage and real sacrifice. His supporters see him a fighter and a warrior.

Shafie will definitely gain more admirers when he explains why he was remanded and his promise to tell all about Musa.

Former Prime Minister, Dr.Mahathir had dubbed Sabah as the “Wild, Wild East” because of our brand of wild politics then.

We haven’t heard the phrase for a long time now; is it about to make a comeback with this open rivalry between the two men ?


The BN people call it as ‘people-friendly and comprehensive’ budget.

The Bee Gees were well known for many evergreen hits – Words – was just one of them.

Everybody knows it is an election budget, and why should not it be when election is around the corner?

The budget is generous to groups of people seen as making the difference in the elections as voters; civil servants, government retirees, village headmen, imam, ustaz and the likes.

Individual income tax rates reduction of two percentage points will be given to those whose income tax band is between RM20,000 and RM 70,000.

10,000 house units will be constructed for police personnel.

A 20% discount for full settlement of students loans will be given until 31st December 2018.

These target groups should ensure another BN victory should they all fall for the budget promises and willing to forget bad governance and the rising living costs.

As for Sabah, more funds are allocated for rural development. But there was no mention of the 40 percent revenues due to us as per the constitution, and nothing in terms of upgrading our primitive railway system or our Sepanggar port, making it into a regional hub.

Our federal politicians like Rahman Dahlan and Anifah Aman who are said to have the ear of the Prime Minister had failed in convincing him to do the necessary for us.

Sabah’s oil and gas fields contribute a hefty sum towards the national coffers but what it gets in return under the 2018 budget is but a mere pittance.

Now, look at this, some people in Labuan and also mainland Sabah were all excited about a feasibility study of Labuan-Menumbok bridge mentioned in the budget, when our own university UMS had actually done one, and Harris Salleh, our former Chief Minister, too had done the same in his private capacity.

We should only get excited when the project comes online and construction has actually started.

It is very clear the budget is more Malaya-centric than a pan-Malaysia one which does not reflect the O&G revenues Sabah have contributed to the federal coffers.

The budget cannot be said to be an accurate reflection of the reality as there was no mention of any deficit, and of course IMDB and its implicit liabilities and other government debts as well.

For those who benefit, of course it is a feel good budget; whether these promises would be delivered are questionable, as some commentators have suggested the government appeared to be plucking money from out of nowhere.

It looks like “its only words, words are all I have to take your heart away”, so crooned the Bee Gees!