Bridge likely burned for Sabah opposition


KOTA KINABALU: Any rapprochement among Sabah opposition seems unlikely as Parti Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal continues his attacks against Sabah Pakatan Harapan.

Shafie accused DAP and PKR – Warisan’s former allies – of doing nothing to help get back state rights in Pakatan’s two years in power.

The former chief minister’s latest salvo came despite Pakatan’s call for unity among opposition parties to face the 15th General Election.

In response, leaders of Sabah DAP and PKR as well as its local-based Pakatan partner slammed Shafie’s claims as “baseless and unfair”, with some of them accusing Shafie of “panicking over his own failure as chief minister”.

In separate statements, the leaders said they were also curious why Shafie had not named Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was the then Pakatan prime minister, for failing to deliver promised state rights.During a meet-the-people session in Sandakan on Saturday, Shafie had said there was no point supporting the national opposition parties in the state as they had failed to deliver their promises for Sabah when Pakatan was in power.

“It is shocking to witness that Shafie is willing to stoop so low to accuse former allies from Sabah DAP and PKR that were sincere in helping and campaigning for him at all costs,” Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Frankie Poon said in a statement yesterday.

He also accused Warisan of being a Trojan horse aimed at splitting votes in the upcoming elections and putting Barisan Nasional and Umno at an advantage.

DAP, said Poon, had been consistently advocating for a united opposition front going into GE15 but he noted that what Shafie was doing would only benefit Barisan and Perikatan Nasional.

He likened Warisan to Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and Gerakan Tanah Air – both fronted by Dr Mahathir – for “willing to go populist to stay relevant”.

PKR deputy information chief Razeef Rakimin said Shafie’s claims showed that he was panicking and pointing fingers at others to “cover his own failings”.

“Shafie seems to have forgotten that he was chief minister (in the Warisan Plus government) who sat in the special committee on Sabah and Sarawak rights.

“What did he (Shafie) do when he was chief minister? He must look in the mirror before accusing others,” said Razeef, adding that it was strange that Shafie did not blame Dr Mahathir.

Incoming Upko president Datuk Ewon Benedick, who was a minister in Shafie’s state Cabinet, also came to the defence of his former Cabinet colleagues under the then Warisan-Pakatan-Upko government.

“It is unfair to put the blame on Cabinet members who have only party platforms but not government official avenues,” he said, adding that Shafie as chief minister had access to all official platforms to tackle state rights.

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