KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Sabah DAP has reiterated its support for the proposal to make Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal the prime ministerial candidate, stating the option “should remain open”.
In a joint statement by 11 assemblymen, MPs and a senator, they added the decision by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council affirming PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the next prime minister would be respected.
“However, we would like to also caution our coalition leaders not to entirely discount East Malaysians from being put forward to lead the country.
“The previous federal government had consisted of not just Pakatan parties but also of other parties from East Malaysia, most notably Parti Warisan Sabah and the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation,” said the members.
They urged Pakatan’s leaders to be conscious and aware of who their friends and foes are, as from the onset Shafie and Warisan had stood by the coalition through thick and thin.
“It is high time for an East Malaysian to lead the country as none of the previous prime ministers of Malaysia are from this region.
“We would like to reiterate that there is nothing stopping an East Malaysian from becoming prime minister as any Malaysian Members of Parliament are equally qualified to be nominated for the position,” they said.
As long as Sabah remains an integral part of Malaysia, Sabah DAP said the option for Shafie as prime ministerial candidate should remain open since no political coalition could rule the country without the support of East Malaysians.
“Shafie as chief minister has managed to unite people from diverse racial and religious backgrounds in the state by creating an accommodative environment where people from diverse cultures and religions could support each other.
“He is more than qualified to become prime minister of the Federation of Malaysia,” they said.
PH announced today it is committed to its original stance to back Anwar as its prime minister candidate, following a meeting of its Presidential Council earlier.
PH’s statement today comes after weeks of the coalition being in a deadlock, as PKR was adamant about naming Anwar as the prime minister candidate, which differed from Amanah and DAP who backed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as their choice.
Following the deadlock, Dr Mahathir had then named Shafie as the Opposition’s prime minister of choice.
In the new arrangement, Dr Mahathir stated that the PKR president along with Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir would serve as deputy prime minister under Shafie.
On Saturday, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim assured the public that the coalition is stable and is ready to speak up for the people as it did before.
Anwar said while it appeared that PH, now known as PH Plus, has some disagreement with who would be their prime minister candidate, this issue did not affect PH as a coalition and the struggles they stand for.