KOTA KINABALU, July 23 — Several Warisan leaders have stepped forward to reaffirm their loyalty to the ruling party led by Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and fend off enticement offers for their defection amid heated rumours of another change in state government.
Gum Gum assemblyman Arunarsin Taib is the latest to claim to be approached 10 times last month by agents of the Opposition to “save himself” from a falling Warisan government.
In a statement here today, he said he was offered up to RM27 million to switch parties and support former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman so the latter could form government.
“There’s an additional RM5 million offered to those holding minister and assistant minister posts bringing it a total of RM32 million to betray the people’s mandate,” said the state assistant youth and sports minister.
“I told the so-called agents that it's a shame to use the money to enrich elected representatives. They’ll be rich but the people will suffer because of a power grab.
"Wouldn’t it be good to see the money being channeled to Sabahans who need it? We can get so much in return in the afterlife,” he said.
Arunarsin said the persistent attempts have affected his movements, forcing him to make detours to avoid meeting with the “agents”.
“They will follow me around if I don’t answer their calls or WhatsApp messages. Even my family gets contacted and they are hanging around my house,” he said.
Tanjung Kapor assemblyman Ben Chong, whose name was touted to be on a list of defectors who had signed a statutory declaration supporting Musa, also denied any intention to cross over.
Chong said that he had no reason to defect even though he was also rumoured to be named state education minister and innovation in the “new” Sabah Cabinet should it come under Perikatan Nasional.
“I will never betray my president, the party and my Warisan colleagues,” he said, adding that he was shocked when his name emerged on a list of defectors.
“Ben Chong IS NOT FOR SALE and it’s final. Enough of the continued efforts to lobby me for me, and through my friends,” he said in a statement.
Warisan vice-president Junz Wong condemned the repeated attempts as harassment and said he was confident the party and state government would remain intact.
“The attempts are real but it won’t succeed. Money cannot buy our dignity and our passion and love for Sabah.
“This generation of Sabah leaders under Shafie will stick together for the sake of our fellow Sabahans and a better Sabah,” he said.