KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Ghapur Salleh has quit his post eight days after accepting his appointment by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Ghapur, the Kalabakan MP and Kalabakan Umno chief, told The Star at about 7.30pm yesterday that he had sent his resignation letter to the Prime Minister’s office.
However, he said he remained Kalabakan Umno division chief and dismissed any talk of him quitting the party or joining the Opposition.
“I’m not interested in any government post. I just want to do my own thing.
“I am still a division chief and I do not want people to speculate as my commitment is to Umno and its leadership under Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” he said.
Asked why he decided to relinquish the post only now, Ghapur said: “I don’t want to be tied up with government duties.”
“I’m leaving the matter in the hands of the Prime Minister,” said Ghapur, a former Sabah deputy chief minister who quit the post in 1997 but returned to the state Cabinet several years later.
Ghapur, 64, is the second Sabah MP to turn down a Federal deputy minister’s post following the March 8 general election.
Soon after Abdullah named his Cabinet on March 18, Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman declined to take up the post of Deputy Transport Minister.
Anifah’s elder brother, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, later said Anifah declined the deputy minister’s post because he had served in that capacity for two terms.
Anifah had told him that it was time for him (Anifah) to make way for others, Musa said.