Shafie Proud Of All The President’s Men

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is extremely proud that not one of his original Warisan assemblymen fell for the opposition’s advances to cross the floor.

The Warisan president said they stayed loyal to the party despite the political pressure and dangling of offers of rewards.

“Out of the YBs who jumped to the other side, not a single was (originally) from Warisan,” he told the BFM Breakfast Grille programme today.

“It touches me actually when I realise none of my YBs from Warisan defected in spite of the temptations, intimidation and inducement received by them to move out.”

Former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman had last week claimed he had clinched a simple majority to form the government after obtaining support from 33 assemblymen.

Thirteen assemblymen had switched allegiance from Shafie’s Warisan Plus governing coalition to back Musa’s now botched attempt to wrest control of the government.

Ten of these 13 assemblymen had actually defected from Barisan Nasional parties to Warisan in stages, following the May 2018 general election.

Only incumbent Inanam assemblyman Kenny Chua and nominated assemblyman Jaffari Waliam, both formerly of PKR, and ex-DAP member and nominated assemblyman Ronnie Loh were original members of Warisan Plus.

Shafie, who is caretaker chief minister, said it would have been impossible for Musa to claim he had a simple majority if not for this trio.

“What is important I think, the background of these individuals, in future during elections, (people will ask) what are they there for or to just become YBs?”

Towards this end he said the crossovers underscored the need for a law to be drawn up to stop such acts.

“I am sure they (his political opponents) will also try their best, after the election, to buy people too.

“That is why I think in future, we will do some kind of change … on how we can refrain them from moving out from the ruling government,” he said.

In a related development, Shafie is also stumped why the authorities have not looked into the claims by his assemblymen that there were political agents who had visited their homes with offers of money and positions to cross over.

He said his YBs had even mentioned the sums being offered and had lodged police reports.

“I just wonder why didn’t they investigate, why didn’t they ask?

“Why didn’t they question who was behind this? I mean, don’t tell me these are any Tom, Dick and Harry wandering around Kota Kinabalu going into people’s houses?

“They’re not even very prominent people, they’re not even YBs but who directed these people to go and reach (the assemblymen) and try to induce them, to influence them, who are they?

“Are they YBs that want to become the chief minister or they want to form the government? They (political agents) don’t have the means (then) surely there are people behind this.

“But I know about the system, it has happened many times in Sabah,” he said, adding that this was why he had sought the Head of State’s consent to dissolve the assembly.

He hastened to add that, given a choice, he would have preferred not to dissolve the assembly but considering the situation, it was best to do so.

“We are facing a lot of problems in the country, not only economic crisis but also Covid-19 right in front of us.”

However Shafie said when he looked at the way they were going about doing things, and doing it in such a manner, he felt it would be better for him to hand it over to let the people decide.