By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: More and greater challenges loom ahead of Shafie Apdal, as elections nears, but the president of the fledgling Parti Warisan Sabah is ready to face them in his stride.
“They can tie up my hands, or my legs, or even plaster my mouth, but I’ll fight on nevertheless,” said Shafie soon after he returned from Friday prayers – the second place he had gone to after his release on Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission bail.
After signing the release documents and other paper work, Shafie set out for home at Taman Golf View in Bundusan, but appealed to reporters waiting for him there to give some time off to attend prayers at the nearby mosque.
Later, speaking to the media, Shafie said he had expected various challenges to be thrown at him once he had left the comfort of Umno, to lead an opposition party in Sabah.
He also said he knew who all were behind the campaign to discredit him with all kinds of accusations and at one point retorted; “How many companies Musa has, you think.”
“They found millions (of Ringgit) in (other) peoples’ bank accounts. How much have they found in mine,” he said with a wry smile on his face.
Shafie, who was released Friday on RM100,000 bail – RM80,000 deposited in two sureties, vowed to reveal information about the public deserves to know.
“I’m not going to say anything now. I will at Parliament. That’s what my privilege is. That is my place,” he told reporters.
He said he was willing to help out the MACC in their investigations as he too wanted to get to the bottom of the alleged misappropriation of funds for rural projects in Sabah, hinting that the results could prove rather uncomfortable for some.
“I’ll speak at the right time and the right place,” he said, suggesting that he would raise various issues during the Budget session in Parliament.
According to Shafie, he needed to meet up with his doctors first to seek a clean bill of health, before he went to attend the current session of Parliament, saying opposition lawmakers wanted him to speak after (PKR’s) Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
“I may look fine outside but the blood pressure is unstable and I also need therapy on my (right) ankle which is troubling me again,” he said. Shafie underwent surgery on a problematic ankle on five occasions.
He also said he had lost weight in the last eight days due to sleeping on the cold floor, but he had had such experiences when he had to put up at longhouses in Sarawak’s interior.
On his immediate plans, Shafie said he was heading to Semporna (Saturday) to visit his parents’ graves and “after that I want to meet my supporters, Warisan members there,” he added.
Turning back to more serious questions, Shafie, who is also Semporna Member of Parliament, said the eight-day remand by the MACC to help in their investigations, would not dampen his resolute in his political fight.
“It has made me all the more resilient to try to put all the wrongs that are in Sabah, and believe me, there are many, and for Sabah to get back on the right track, we need to replace the present Umno-BN government.
“As an opposition leader, they (authorities and rivals) will come after me with all kinds of accusations to try and put me off; they won’t stop, I won’t stop either.
“But remanding me on my birthday (Shafie turned 60 on October 20, the day he was first remanded) was uncalled for. Menacing my family by roping them in, what for; I won’t say anything now.”
Asked what message he had for Warisan supporters, Shafie said (Dr) Mahathir Mohamad was once jailed but went on to become Prime Minister.
He said even in Sabah there were leaders who had faced difficulties while their parties were still in their infancy (touching on Berjaya during the USNO era, and the early days of PBS while Berjaya was in power).
According to Shafie he was taken aback by the support of the people over the last eight days especially, as it showed that the people of Sabah were coming together to fight corruption and tyranny.
He said he had not asked for people from all over the State to come (to the court) when he was remanded twice) “but they came anyway. I don’t know where they stayed and what they ate. But I am thankful for their support.
“Thank you for all the donations – RM102,659.50 – that was for my bail and legal fees; I heard the money came from people of all walks of life – Chinese, Indians, Kadazan Dusuns, Brunei, Suluk, Bajau and so on. I am touched with all the support.”
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