“I am a bit disappointed that some people are saying I am a crony of Tun Mahathir,” he said today when asked about the party’s progress in Peninsular Malaysia since it was launched last month.
Shafie said that Warisan had pushed to stop Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) then led by Dr Mahathir from spreading it wings to Sabah in 2019 when Warisan was leading the Pakatan Harapan Plus state government.
“Dr Mahathir rejected our protests about Bersatu moving to Sabah. We had a big argument over it.
“How can you consider us as a crony when we rejected the party (Bersatu) led by Dr Mahthir to come to Sabah,” Shafie told reporters after meeting with grassroots leaders at Limbahau in Papar.
Shafie, who was a former vice president of Umno, said that as an Umno member he had served then party leaders Dr Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“I’ve been in Umno and I’ve served the leaders but that does not mean we are subservient to them,” said Shafie, who quit Umno in 2016 to form Warisan and worked with Pakatan Harapan in the 2018 elections.
Shafie also noted that opposition parties should consider allowing their dissenting members to join fellow opposition parties instead of such people joining other parties currently in government.
For example, he said in Johor some 1,000 DAP members joined Bersatu instead of other opposition parties.
“If they can’t stop them from leaving, they should allow them to join other friendly opposition parties,” he said.
He said Maszlee Malik joined PKR which was part of the friendly opposition party.
Warisan remains friendly to PKR and DAP on the opposition platform.
Shafie said Warisan has been getting good responses from the people in peninsular Malaysia as the party was “quite well received and the people are welcoming.”
“I believe there is a need to integrate the country not only through political platforms but accepting values not only coming from from Peninsular Malaysia but also values coming from the east in terms of sharing of power to build a nation,” he added.
On big political names from Peninsular Malaysia expected to join Warisan, he said it will be announced in due time.
Shafie’s visit to Limbahau was to shore up party support after their assemblyman Datuk Juil Nuatim quit with Melalap assemblyman Datuk Peter Anthony last month to support Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.