KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is honoured that his name has been proposed to be the candidate for the post of prime minister.
But he is in no hurry to decide if he should take this up, saying he needed time to think it over.
In his first public remarks since Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the opposition Pakatan Harapan Plus had agreed to name Shafie for the top job, Shafie today said he had yet to consult with his colleagues.
He said he could not decide on his own because one should not operate alone but hastened to add that he would give it some serious thought.
“We appreciate it and I am grateful even to have my name suggested,” Shafie said, adding he would make known his decision not too long from now.
On June 27, Dr Mahathir said DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Nasional president Mohamad Sabu had agreed to this proposal of Parti Warisan Sabah chief Shafie replacing him as the candidate for the premiership during an informal meeting in Kuala Lumpur earlier.
Both parties later said the proposal would have to be endorsed by the PH presidential council.
With his announcement Mahathir who was prime minister under the PH Plus government effectively counted himself out of the running for the nation’s premiership.
The shift in leadership direction ended weeks of political posturing between him and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was initially seen as the rightful contender for the post.
Political observers have since pointed out that naming Shafie as the prime minister candidate would not only resolve the impasse between the two men but also give PH Plus an edge in wresting back control of the government from Perikatan Nasional led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
At a press conference today Shafie was asked if he still trusted Dr Mahathir even after several u-turns and unfulfilled promises to Sabah when he was Prime Minister.
Shafie said they would not look into this alone in arriving at a decision.
“We need to evaluate and see what is the best for the state and for nation-building,” he said.