Loyalty the number one criteria for candidates in the coming Sabah polls, says Shafie

  • Nation
  • Monday, 03 Aug 2020

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan Plus will focus on selecting loyal candidates who are not likely to cross over after the elections, says Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

The Sabah caretaker Chief Minister said loyalty towards the parties involved - Parti Warisan Sabah, DAP, PKR, Upko and Amanah - was more important than candidates with good education, career and professionalism backgrounds.

“I can place a degree holder, a professional, or a new face but it would be useless if in the end, they jump parties after winning the election. That’s why loyalty is our main criteria when selecting a candidate, ” he said.

The Parti Warisan Sabah president said this after a meeting with Upko, PKR and DAP state leaders as well as representatives from Sabah Parti Amanah Negara on Monday (Aug 3).

Shafie said it was not just about giving member parties a number as to how many they can contest and where they can place their candidates in the polls without taking into account whether they are able to produce the most suitable candidate that fits all criteria mentioned.

He said discussions on these matters were ongoing with partner parties as they hope to finalise matters and tie up loose ends by next week.

“Our stand on unity and strong cooperation between Warisan Plus member parties remains and if we can maintain our relations, we can win the polls, ” he said.

Shafie said that MPs might be chosen to contest in the state seats if the candidates can win the area and if they can defeat Umno.

Asked whether Amanah will be given seats this time around, he said they will look into it as discussions are still ongoing but stated that what was important was to acknowledge grassroots support towards local-based parties.

He said Amanah was not allocated any seat in GE14 as they were a new party and not local-based.

Earlier, Shafie explained that the dissolution of the state assembly was needed due to consistent political pressures not only from within Sabah but also from players in peninsula Malaysia.

“We cannot let this go on as these pressures are putting development plans as well as investments on halt, ” he said.

This, he said, is the reason why he sought a meeting with the state governor and to apply for the dissolution of the state assembly, which the Yang DiPertua (TYT) Tun Juhar Mahiruddin allowed to proceed.

Shafie explained that only the TYT has the power to dissolve an assembly whereas he, as a Chief Minister at that time, only had the authority or power to advise on matters.

“We’ve gone through the needed process and the letters were later signed and gazetted by the TYT, ” he said adding the dissolution was later informed to the Election Commission (EC).

He said what they can do is wait for the EC to give a date for the snap polls to take place.

Shafie said they will seriously relook at implementing an anti-hop law after the elections.

“I have instructed the state Attorney General (AG) to go through related laws in other states such as Penang on this matter, ” he said.

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