Shafie wants to think it over
Published on: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
By: Larry Ralon
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Shafie (centre) and other leaders visiting SM St. Michael Penampang yesterday.
PENAMPANG: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said while he feels honoured to be nominated as opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) Plus’ Prime Minister candidate, he needs time to think it over before making any decision. 

Warisan is part of PH Plus which comprises Democractic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) and Dr Mahathir’s group of members of parliament.    

“Well, I am so grateful with that coming from Tun Dr Mahathir, a man of world standing, mentioning my name and nominating me. 

“(But) this is a proposal which I need to deeply study. I also need to discuss it with fellow state leaders including my party leaders. 

“You can’t get that, I never seen that in the history that he will just mention a name...it is a great challenge for me but I will definitely look into this seriously. 

“But…I will make sure it is not going to be long (decision). Because right now we also face various problems at the State-level, while at the national-level we are dealing with political uncertainty.

“So there’s a lot of considerations that need to be taken into account,” said Mohd Shafie, when asked, during a press conference at SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin, Monday. Dr Mahathir had said Mohd Shafie’s nomination was a collective decision in an informal meeting at the Rumah Tetamu Sabah here few days ago with leaders from DAP, Amanah and Warisan. 

Asked if he believed Dr Mahathir was serious or was suggesting it because of the problem he had with PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and that previously he had made other promises like not to expand his former party Bersatu to Sabah but ended up breaking it as well as the oil royalty increase, Mohd Shafie said “it is okay I will look at it thoroughly”. 

“But we cannot just look at it like that, just because of one incident in Sabah. 

“Like our claims for the return of Sabah’s rights in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) where from over 20 matters, 17 had already been agreed upon by Tun (Dr Mahathir). We cannot say that we get all that we have asked for. At least we can see that there is a very positive development. 

“Same as when we requested for some of my colleagues in Warisan to be appointed as Federal Ministers. I just made the request, I just mentioned names like my Deputy President Datuk Darell Leiking as well as Datuk VK Liew and Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi and he (Dr Mahathir) just said okay no problem. 

“So we are grateful to Tun Dr Mahathir because he realised our contribution that time,” he said, adding he would also look at how things develop.

“But I don’t demand for it. I have mentioned about the need for me to manage Sabah. But this is an honour for me as an individual, a politician, in this country,” he said, adding he also had experiences in seven ministries throughout his six terms (30 years) as an elected representative. 

 On how confident he is in getting the support of people in the peninsula, Mohd Shafie, who is also Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) President, said he cannot force the people. 

“But I know I have been serving the country more than 30 years. I was there as a political secretary, parliament secretary, deputy minister and minister in seven ministries. 

“Those people can evaluate how bad, how good, because it is not for me to say that. But I think what is important is it is not time for me to respond to all questions...the time will come, give me some time.” 

Mohd Shafie said among the things he would also need to look at who would succeed him if he agreed to accept the nomination. 

“A lot of things. I cannot be just saying ‘oh okay, goodbye guys’...I am not that kind of a leader. I don’t do that just because of post, better position.

 “It is not for personal glory or for personal ambition. What is important is we build up the nation and the people,” he said.  

 Mohd Shafie, meanwhile, approved the school’s request for 110 beds for its hostels during the visit meant to check on impact of the weekend’s flood as well as its Covid-19 prevention arrangement.   

SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin is one of the 221 government secondary schools and 15 private schools with Form Five and Form Six classes, which had just re-opened school sessions in Sabah. Mohd Shafie also visited SM Agama in Bukit Padang. 

State Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob, State Secretary Datuk Safar Untong, Darell who is also Penampang MP, Kapayan Assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang and State Education Director Dr Misterine Radin were present.   





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