Voices of discontent over Sabah representation in Cabinet should stop, says Warisan

KOTA KINABALU: The choice of Cabinet ministers is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and any voices of discontent over the lack of representation of MPs from Sabah should stop, says Warisan.

Congratulating all the new ministers in the unity government under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Warisan information chief Datuk Azis Jamman said he understood there are parties contending that Sabah was under-represented in the Cabinet.

"I am of the opinion that any appointment is the Prime Minister's prerogative which should be respected," he said in a statement here on Saturday (Dec 3).

"There should not be any question of being disappointed anymore because Sabahans have been given the opportunity to vote.

"The people have made their choices according to what they believed could help Sabah and it has been proven they believed more in the capabilities of parties centred in the peninsula compared to those from the state in fighting for their interests and rights.

"As such, we must respect the decision and choices made by them and move forward," Azis added.

He said it was understandable that the voices of discontent included those from Warisan supporters who were disappointed as none of the party's three MPs, including president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal – made the cut, but urged them to remain calm.

This is despite the party's consistency all this while, including not giving statutory declarations (SDs) to any other candidate than Anwar for prime minister after the infamous Sheraton move.

The former deputy home minister explained that Warisan had backed Anwar from the start during the wrangle over the prime minister's position with Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin by giving Anwar their SDs.

"Warisan was offered various positions and rewards but stuck to its principle of not wanting to betray the people's mandate (in GE14) and was willing to back Anwar as the Opposition leader," Azis said.

He said it was the same support Warisan gave when no party could surpass the 111 seats required to form the government after the recently concluded GE15.

He said Warisan was again the first party out of the block to give Anwar its SDs in support of his government, although in the end, not even one Cabinet position was given to Warisan but instead given to other parties which only threw their support behind the Pakatan Harapan chairman much later.

"But Warisan must prove to Malaysians – and Sabahans in particular – that the party was not solely chasing after positions but was standing by its basic principle and fight which is to prioritise the delivery of Sabah rights.

"We want to see Anwar deliver on his promises to implement Sabah's demands as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)," he said.

Toward this end, Azis, who lost his defence of the Sepanggar seat to Pakatan's Mustapha Sakmud in GE15, said Anwar should be given the opportunity to administer the nation, bring about reforms that he promised and in Sabah's context, deliver the MA63.

"He must be given the time to study and appreciate the history of the MA63.

"He must deliver as well as implement all that was agreed with Sabah's forefathers but this should not take too long because this (MA63) is an international agreement and valid under the law.

"Time will tell if all that was promised will be fulfilled," Azis said.

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