Q&A with Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh

Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh.

Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh.

OUTSPOKEN Umno MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh recently grilled the Home Ministry in Parliament for its handling of the Lahad Datu intrusion in March.

He said the Government was too slow to react to the armed intrusion by the Sulu invaders.

"If someone enters my home with weapons, and on top of that bullies me, will I negotiate? Of course, I won't. I will take my shotgun and shoot him,” he was reported as telling Parliament.

RASHVINJEET S.BEDI caught up with Ghapur for a quick question and answer session.

Q: Do you have a shotgun?

A: Yes, I do and I am entitled to it. I keep it in my house. When I go to the jungle, I bring it along for protection. When I am away for a long time, it is kept in the police station.

Q: Who do you think is the mastermind behind the Lahad Datu incursion?

A: I don’t know. If I knew, I would have reported it to the police. I don’t want to speculate.

Q: What do you think of the events in Egypt?

A: I have been telling people that this reformation is not easy. It will kill people. I tell people not to listen to the so-called reformation by the opposition over here. There was nothing wrong with Egypt during the 30 years (Hosni) Mubarak was there. Now they are feeling it.

Q: Datuk Ibrahim Ali recently said that he wanted to drive a taxi. What do you think of his comments?

A: Is he trying to fool people? He’s crazy talking like that. He was an MP before but has lost in the election. After winning (in 2008) he attacked PAS left and right, although he stood under their banner. The people don’t want him anymore.

Q: What do you think of Umno’s new voting system?

A: I don’t agree with it. I think it will be worse because now the candidates have to campaign in every division. My division alone has 1,000 voters. Before, I only had to look after 13 delegates. Some divisions in Sabah have about 400 branches. That would mean almost 4,000 people voting. I am also worried because there is no quota system now.

Q: Won’t it curb money politics in Umno?

A: I don’t think so. People will do anything just to get on the Supreme Council even if it’s very expensive. Contestants can get hold of the division leaders and give them money to campaign on their behalf. I have spoken to a few of my Umno friends in Parliament and they were not too keen on it.