KOTA KINABALU: Warisan president Shafie Apdal has issued a scathing attack on the government’s sincerity to carry out reforms including implementing an anti-hopping law, claiming there are still efforts to entice his assemblymen to cross over to the other side.
Shafie, who is Semporna MP, said his party’s elected representatives had become victims in the power struggle between Bersatu and Umno at the federal and state levels.
He added the battle between the two parties that is taking place in Melaka was now happening in Sabah as well.
He said he was disappointed that despite the government putting forward its “Malaysian Family” concept and saying it would implement reforms under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Pakatan Harapan, such unhealthy practices were still taking place.
“This is not healthy,” he told reporters at the party’s office today, a day after Sindumin representative Yusof Yacob announced his departure from Warisan to become an independent assemblyman supporting Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government led by chief minister Hajiji Noor.
“They try to tempt our people with offers of positions and rewards, calling us every now and then.
“The King had already decreed that politicking be reduced but what is happening now? Even the ruling government wants to bring forward the anti-hopping law.
“When my YBs (elected representatives) cross over to their side, it’s halal but when their leaders come over to work with Warisan, it’s haram. Is that acceptable?
“We already spoke to law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to expedite the process to implement the reforms because we know the political situation in Sabah between Umno and Bersatu, which are fighting to form the government and occupy the chief minister’s seat.”
Shafie, however, was confident his remaining assemblymen will continue to be loyal to their party despite the alleged enticements.
Yusof is the second Warisan assemblyman to quit this year, following Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir’s departure on Feb 25. This latest turn of events leaves Warisan with only 20 seats in the 73-seat state assembly.
Meanwhile, Shafie denied the claim by Yusof that he had given him his blessings to leave the party, saying it was not right for the former Warisan information chief to use this as an excuse to further continue serving the people.
He said Yusof was appointed as the education minister under Warisan’s administration of the state and was also made the information chief.
This had enabled him to be part of important meetings such as Pakatan Harapan presidential council meetings and Conference of Rulers gatherings, whether accompanying or representing the Warisan president.
He also said, according to several Warisan assemblymen, Yusof had allegedly tried to influence them to leave the party to support GRS, with promises of handsome rewards.
“Warisan has never compromised on this and strongly rejects the party-hopping culture through such tactics,” he said, adding the party had yet to receive Yusof’s resignation letter.
Nonetheless, Shafie said the party would take the same course of legal action against Yusof as it did against Hassan when he left Warisan. It would ask Yusof to vacate his seat as he had signed a letter promising to do so if he switched allegiance to another political party.
“I’ve instructed the party’s secretary-general to sack him,” he said.