By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: A good number of Sabahans vote in their representatives at elections because they can serve the people and not because of money.
Former Umno vice president, Shafie Apdal said past results have proven that even rich and powerful people can lose in elections to unknown candidates, “so one does not have to be rich to win.”
Firing a broadside at Nazri Aziz on Wednesday night after the tourism minister had alleged that Shafie won in 2013 because he and his family was rich and did not need money from outside sources, Shafie who now heads Parti Warisan Sabah said:
“I have stood in many elections. There was never any 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) money before. I didn’t win because of money, it’s because I gained the trust of the people in my area. It is not an indication of whether you are rich or not. I’m not as rich as he is.
“Don’t tell me all the poor guys who have won under BN (Barisan Nasional) have had ample amounts of money,” said the Semporna MP and former Umno leader after attending a charity fundraiser dinner.
Shafie, in reiterating that he had not received any illegal funds from Prime Minister Najib Razak, was quoted saying that winning posts was not about who has the most money.
He suggested that Nazri must have realised that he was fast losing ground among the Umno leaders as well as his Padang Rengas constituency and as such hurled baseless accusations in an attempt to “get attention from his bosses”.
“I want to reiterate that I have never received or taken any money from 1MDB for anything; my political career or other reasons,” said Shafie, saying Ramadan was coming and God was his witness, adding he was leaving the matter to Allah to judge, what is the truth.
“I even checked with my division and some of my men (Jaujan Sambakong) if they had got anything from 1MDB and they said none. Maybe some ‘peruntukan’ (allocations) from ‘perhubungan’ (Umno Headquarters) for general election expenses.
“So I don’t know exactly what Nazri is getting at but here we have a desperate man clutching at straws and wanting to pull others down with him. My conscience is clear.
“I don’t know whether he is trying to get attention from his boss but for him to claim that we have received money from 1MDB… as far as I know I have not received it. They might have sent it to someone else but definitely not me,” he said.
Shafie retained his seat in the 2013 elections with an 84 per cent majority when he contested under Umno then.
Nazri himself has admitted receiving funds from a controversial RM2.6 billion donation received by the prime minister for their party to use during the general election, as reported in the Malay Mail online recently.
He however claimed both Shafie, and former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin had received a bigger share of the money, since they had many branches in their respective divisions.
Shafie has since denied this and said he had been very vocal about the beleaguered 1MDB to Nazri’s approval, something he would not have done had he been a major benefactor from the illegal funds.
On Wednesday, Nazri again attacked Shafie saying his family must be very “rich” if he claims he was not a beneficiary of the controversial RM2.6 billion donation received by the prime minister in the last general election.
Nazri pointed out that it would have been extremely expensive for the former Umno vice-president to have forked out his own money for use in Election 2013, being not only the Semporna MP but also an Umno division chief.
“Perhaps Shafie is rich, his family is rich… word is that he even has a house in London. Maybe he does not need the money (for elections) but I need it, I am not rich like him,” the tourism and culture minister was quoted saying by the Malay Mail Online.
Muhyiddin has also denied receiving any IMDB funds.
Among those at the fund-raiser was former State Secretary, Simon Sipaun and ex State Education director, Hasbollah Taha, and several Warisan leaders.