KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Once a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ally, Parti Warisan Sabah’s (Warisan) president, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has called on voters to turn their backs on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
News site The Vibes reported Shafie as justifying this, by accusing the duo of contributing to the current political stalemate.
“Malaysia can survive even if Dr Mahathir or Anwar are not around. We move on,” he said.
He reportedly blamed the lack of progress on the two and their ongoing “feud”.
“When in Umno, they bickered and then in Pakatan Harapan (PH), they quarrelled to no end. In trying to grab power, they backstab others along the way,” Shafie reportedly said during a fundraising dinner at the Penang Chinese Town Hall in George Town last night.
He then recalled that when he was with PH, Dr Mahathir had promised him before the 2018 general election that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which the latter founded, would not enter Sabah.
However, Shafie lamented that Bersatu still went ahead, immediately after the PH coalition won the 14th general election.
“Anwar was negotiating with us during the Sabah election, yet we were informed that he was also talking to other parties outside of Sabah at the last-minute.
“If the likes of Dr Mahathir and Anwar can come into Sabah seeking seats, there is no reason Warisan cannot do the same in the peninsula,” he added.
In April, Shafie had announced that Warisan would be contesting several seats in the peninsula, for the 15th general election (GE15), after making its maiden, and failed, entry to the electoral landscape during the Johor state polls in March.
He said his party’s leadership would scout and decide on winnable seats for the party.
At the fundraising dinner, Shafie added that despite many uncertainties heading into the next general election, he is open to the prospects of Sabah and Sarawak parties forming a bloc that can help stabilise the federal government.
“Sarawak has 31 (parliamentary seats) and Sabah 25. Together we have more seats than even Umno (Barisan Nasional). Do not underestimate us East Malaysians,” he said, adding that unity between Sabah and Sarawak can correct the federal government’s past mistakes and aid demands for equal rights and access to oil and natural gas royalty payments.
He added that voters should stop blaming politicians as the power to decide is in their hands.
“Politicians have ruined the past years. Three prime ministers in four years! I would never have imagined it despite being in politics for the last 30 years.”
Shafie also spoke of the need for voters to elect “clean and sincere” leaders rather than give into fearmongering of race or religion.
“PAS is not in Saudi Arabia, yet Islam is fully protected there. Umno is not in Brunei or Singapore, yet there are Malays who prosper there. Vote for change.
Shafie said he was confident that Warisan can perform well in the next election, with unity as its core battle cry.