Assailed from all sides

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal. -filepic

LATELY, Parti Warisan Sabah is rumahungkung and pajulangkang, which are Bajau words for falling and crashing.

In barely a week, the multiracial Sabah-based party led by the state’s east-coast Bajau warlord Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was dealt a double blow.

Today, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will charge its Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli with corruption at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

Rozman won under the Umno ticket but joined Warisan in October 2018 after the May general election.

Last Friday, its Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob departed the party to be a government-friendly Independent.

Since the Sabah snap polls in September last year, Warisan has lost three assemblymen, including through the death of Bugaya assemblyman Manis Muka Mohd Darah and the defection of Sebatik assemblyman Hassan Amir Gani to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

In addition, it lost Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong following his death on Oct 2 last year.

Warisan now has 20 assemblymen and eight MPs.

Word is that more Warisan YBs are leaving the party.

Chief among them is Lahad Datu MP and Segama assemblyman Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who has indicated a wish to sign the memorandum of understanding for bipartisan cooperation with the Federal Government, going against party lines.

Several Warisan assemblymen are also said to be on the shopping list of a Sabah dealmaker browsing for politicians disillusioned with Warisan president Shafie’s leadership.

These disillusioned Warisan lawmakers feel that the party, which ruled Sabah from 2018 to 2020, wouldn’t have lost its crown jewel – the Sabah government – if Shafie had not got distracted by his dream of becoming prime minister.

The dealmaker told me: “If I can capture X (a Warisan YB), Warisan is finished.”

“Shafie is demoralised, especially with the loss of Dr Yusof, who is smart, and gave a professional image to Warisan.

“Now that he is gone, it will be tough for Shafie,” he said, referring to Dr Yusof, who was Umno’s Sipitang MP from 1995 to 2008 and Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker from 2004 to 2008.

However, a Warisan insider said Dr Yusof’s resignation had minimal impact on the party as he had been expected to leave since February.

“Morale was a bit down, especially when there was speculation that 13 more Warisan YBs would follow suit.

“But now morale is back to normal after party members were told by the leadership that Dr Yusof quit because he was under tremendous pressure by the government to do so, and no 13 assemblymen have left the party as speculated,” said the Warisan insider who did not want to be identified.

He also said there was no impact with the Labuan MP’s anticipated charge in court as the 15th general election is around the corner, and Rozman could still defend his parliamentary seat.

The dealmaker cautioned that Warisan should not be too sure of the loyalty of its YBs.

After the latest double blow on Warisan, he warned that there were more blows to come.

Will Shafie lose his saputi (Bajau word for magic) to survive the double blow?

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