Shafie wants only loyal candidates

United front: Shafie (centre) with (front row, from left) Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Sabah PKR chairman Datuk Christina Liew and Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Frankie Poon Ming Fung and others after a meeting with Upko, PKR, DAP state leaders as well as representatives from Amanah at the Warisan office. — Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Their education and professional background may be stellar, but it is pointless picking such candidates if they end up jumping parties after winning the election, says Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Instead, loyalty will be the key criterion when finalising Warisan Plus candidates for the coming state election, said the Sabah caretaker chief minister.

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

He spoke to reporters after a meeting with Upko, PKR, DAP state leaders as well as representatives from Parti Amanah Negara Sabah yesterday.

Warisan Plus’ stand, he added, remained on unity and cooperation to win the snap election.

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

Asked whether Amanah would be given seats this time around, Shafie said they would look into it as discussions were 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 based locally.

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

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

This, Shafie said, was the reason why he sought a meeting with the governor and to apply for the dissolution of the state assembly, which the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin subsequently allowed to proceed.

He explained that only the Juhar had the power to dissolve an assembly whereas he, as 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 (Tuan Yang Terutama), ” he said, adding that the Election Commission (EC) was later informed about the dissolution of the state assembly.

Shafie said what they could do now was to wait for the EC to give a date for the snap election.

He said they would seriously relook at implementing an anti-hop law after the election.

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

Shafie said the AG would also handle the suit taken up by several individuals including a lawyer to stop the Sabah polls.

“The TYT has the absolute right and power to dissolve the state legislative assembly, not me, so that’s why we’ll just leave it to the AG to decide on this bid to stop the snap election, ” he said.

He said the power of the TYT was stated clearly in the state enactment.

“Besides, we went through the necessary procedures when applying for the dissolution with a letter sent on July 29, before our opposing parties announced that they have the numbers to take over this government, ” Shafie said.

Meanwhile, PAS Sabah has identified several state seats to contest in during the coming snap polls.

PAS commissioner for Sabah Mohd Aminuddin Aling said they had given the list of seats to their central leadership, which would negotiate these seats with their political partners.

The party first contested in Sabah in 1986 in the Kota Belud, Jambongan and Kimanis parliamentary seats.

The party has never won any seats in the state.

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