By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: A claim that a leadership struggle is brewing between federal minister Datuk Darell Leiking and state minister Datuk Peter Anthony- both Parti Warisan Sabah leaders – is outrageously false.
There is no power struggle or even a glimmer of infighting among any leaders of Warisan, which is now well-focused on strengthening the party to capably serve the people, Henry Saimpon, a senior aide to the party’s vice president Peter said Saturday.
Henry said both Peter and Darell enjoyed an excellent friendship and working relationship since joining forces under Warisan, led by Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal, and they remain committed towards building the party’s multi-racial base that includes strengthening the Kadazandusun Murut areas.
“The idea of Peter trying to challenge Darell is plucked from thin air and is just the imagination of the political analyst, and distorted further by the writer concerned.
“I do not know what is the intention of the so-called questionable analyst, but I do see a move to sow seeds of discord within the party members,” said Henry.
Peter is the state Infrastructure Minister and also president of KDM Malaysia.
Peter was seen by analyst Arnold Puyok, described by many as an Upko sympathiser, as wanting to mount a challenge against Darell for the party deputy presidency based on his work on the ground.
Puyok’s views comes shortly after former Upko assemblyman-turned- independent Datuk Masiung Banah joined Warisan after a fallout with Upko president Datuk Wilfred Tangau, the state deputy chief minister.
Puyok, who was once touted as a potential candidate for the Barisan Nasional to contest in Kuala Penyu in GE14, could have been irked with the Warisan move and decided to push a wedge between Darell and Peter to hide the real problems and weaknesses within Upko, said other political analysts.
According to Henry, being in Warisan is not about holding on to positions in the party but being able to focus on the needs of the rakyat and deliver its promises so as to fulfil the mandate.
He also described Warisan as a young but united party and so called allegations that there was in-fighting among the leaders only showed that certain people did not want to know how the party operated.
On Tuesday, Christopher Masudal who is the Special Officer to Darell Leiking, in response to the same article said there is no hostility between Leiking and Anthony and described both as friendly to each other.
“I believe the rumours were actually being spread by those who have been indoctrinated with the ‘divide and rule’ concept made famous by BN that had ruled Sabah for 24 years so it is understandable that they may need some time to accept the fact that in order for the new Sabah to progress, racial or ethnic polarization should make way for ‘Bangsa Sabah’,” Masudal was quoted as saying.
Masudal also advised party members not to immediately engage in emotional racial discourse and to use ‘race’ or ‘ethnicity’ just to win a debate.
“In fact, I came across an online portal news on the same issue which Puyok had highlighted so it may be very well that some people are simply jealous with the exceptional results that Datuk Darell had achieved as the Minister of International Trade and Industry hence they want to instigate party members and destroy Warisan from within,” he said in his statement.
Masudal also rubbished the contention made by Puyok that Warisan lacked strong ideology or platform on multiracialism.
“Puyok may well remember how his analysis back in May 2, 2018 during a talk held by Nottingham University was way off mark when he opined that Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal would not get support within the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut communities and that Warisan would fail to make any impact in areas held by these ethnic groups,” said Masudal.
“Just how way off the mark he is,” pointed out Saimpon who added that Puyok had better stick to schooling his students rather than make half-baked analysis meant to cause discord.
Henry also called upon the media not to score points by quoting unnamed sources stressing such quotes could very well be the writer’s own thoughts and not worth the paper it is written on.