Tue, 30 May 2023



Sabah polls: Shafie says Warisan won’t go alone
Published on: Tuesday, March 21, 2023
By: Bernama
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Sabah polls: Shafie says Warisan won’t go alone
Shafie (centre) at the press conference in Putatan.
PUTATAN: Parti Warisan (Warisan) will not face the next Sabah state election (PRN) alone and is now evaluating suitable parties to form a strong partnership, said its President Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

The Semporna MP said Warisan is making a detailed assessment to ensure the party partners to be chosen will able to lead the same struggle for the people of Sabah and that the cooperation could last for a long period.

“It is true that some parties have been identified, including Umno at Sabah state level, but we have not decided anything yet (for cooperation) at this time, there are also many...local parties (for cooperation) which we will announce when the time comes.” With Pakatan Harapan (PH) we already have (cooperation) at national level together in the Unity Government. In fact, I was one of the first to support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister,” he said at a press conference after attending the Pemimpin Warisan Bersama Rakyat event, here, Sunday night.

In the 15th general election last year, Warisan which contested alone won three parliamentary seats out of a total of 52 parliamentary seats contested throughout the country. The 16th Sabah state election in 2020 saw Warisan who at the time collaborated with PH to form Warisan Plus and won 32 seats in the Sabah State Assembly out of a total of 73 seats, while the term of the current State Government will end in 2025.

Shafie said what is important now is for Warisan to strengthen the party first before taking the next step to establish cooperation with other parties.

He said Warisan will also prepare the party to face the Sabah PRN even if the election is held this year or next year.

Shafie also said Warisan would no longer depend on its division chiefs when it comes to picking the right candidates for elections.

He said a change in strategy was necessary in view of the recent election outcome and the “political frog” issue in Sabah.

“Our usual practice of following the division chiefs’ recommendation for election candidates (might not be the best for the party).

“(During election), each division chief will propose three candidates… some of them are suitable, some are not.

“I am not saying that we should not listen to them, but we also need to listen to others’ opinions, including the people if we want to win elections.

“(In future), we will filter candidates properly instead of just listening to suggestions by certain people,” he said.

The party, which won the state election in 2020 with 23 assemblymen, is now left with only 14 lawmakers.

On possible collaboration with other parties, the former state chief minister said the party was looking at several possibilities including working with Umno in future state elections.

“However, our priority now is to strengthen the party.” he said.

As for Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition which has been described as “a fully-local Sabah party”, Shafie said it was better to look at the content of the struggle and not the label.

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