KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan might contest the coming 15th General Elections on its own, says Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He however added that the door is still open for collaboration with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the polls.
“As I have mentioned, we will accept PBS as our partner,” said the Warisan president after going for a walkabout at the Foh Sang morning market in Luyang on Saturday (July 16).
“But we can’t force the matter if they (PBS) do not want it. What’s important is that we want the voices of Malaysians in Sabah as well as Sabah’s rights are heard and protected,” added Shafie.
Shafie had previously said Warisan did not mind working with PBS as it was a local party, but this was turned down by PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
Ongkili had added that his party appreciated the gesture by Warisan.
Shafie also said that Warisan is potentially looking for seats to contest in Peninsula Malaysia.
“It must be enough for us. If I worked with Barisan Nasional, they would surely want seats (and likewise) with Pakatan, parties like PKR, DAP, Upko and Amanah and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) would also want seats,” he added.
“We only have 25 parliamentary seats here (in Sabah) so at the end of the day, because of seat sharing we will only get (something like) six seats while the rest will collectively get 19,” said the Semporna MP.
Shafie said he was disappointed with promises made to Sabah that went undelivered such as the 20% oil royalty election pledge despite his party being part of the Pakatan government previously.
Taking aim at DAP leaders, he claimed a request by the late Steven Wong – the former Sandakan MP – to upgrade the airport in his constituency never materialised.
“Guan Eng was the finance minister while (DAP secretary-general) Anthony Loke was the transport minister (then),” he said.
Shafie said that although DAP remained hopeful of cooperating with Warisan for GE15, he contended the party however insisted it should be on their terms when it was supposed to be a two-way street.
He added that he hopes local parties in Sabah can finally come together to work with each other for the betterment of the state.
“It will take time and it’s not going to be easy. But we have to start the work now. I know this might not be realised under my period, but I’m doing it for the generations to come. We must start the struggle as Malaysia is a multi-racial country,” said Shafee.
“How can you unite Malaysians? Currently, we play the race and religion card but is that the right way we move forward? We must inculcate unity,” he added.