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Anifah says he talked to Mohamaddin to work with federal govt over Sabah state rights

KOTA KINABALU: Former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that his discussions with Silam MP Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi were for Sabah and Sarawak MPs to work towards regaining Sabah and Sarawak state rights. Anifah said that he discussed with Mohamaddin the need to work with the Federal Government to regain state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963. “I told him that because the number of MP seats in Sabah and Sarawak is only 56, then we should work with the current federal government in efforts to regain our rights under MA63 in the interest of Sabahans. “I will say the same if any of my friends asked me. As someone who loves my state, I am more focused on this,” Anifah said in a statement issued late Thursday (June 11) after Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal accused him (Anifah) of enticing the former federal tourism minister to cross the political floors. Anifah, however, did not directly answer to Shafie’s claims but said that he was always discussing state rights with friends and Mohamaddin was a friend of his from the days they studied together in England. On Thursday, Shafie told reporters that Mohamaddin had told him that Anifah had made three calls to him asking him to leave Warisan. Pressure is currently mounting on Shafie’s Warisan elected representatives both at state and federal level. He had accused Perikatan Nasional of a “grand plan” to entice his lawmakers with positions and also threats to leave Warisan and aligned themselves with Pakatan Harapan. Anifah, who lost his Kimanis parliament seat earlier this year after an Election Court nullified the May 2018 election results, described himself as a politician on pension with no position either in state or federal. In a tongue in cheek reply to Shafie’s accusations, Anifah thanked Shafie for ``remembering to mention a pensioner.” “Even though I have no positions, my name is still being mentioned. Maybe this is because I have contributed a lot to the state so its hard for him to forget my name,” said Anifah, the younger brother to former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman who is widely seen to be marshalling a move to take back the state from Warisan. Anifah said Shafie should be surrounded by honest and loyal people whom he trusts and not those who can be bought. Anifah also said that the Warisan president should be looking at solving problems from the Covid-19 faced by the people and reinvigorating the state’s economy. Anifah is currently working to merge three local based parties and is expected to lead the proposed Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah. On Thursday, 44 of 47 assemblymen and 13 of the 15 MPs from Warisan and its partner Upko, DAP and PKR turned up at a luncheon to show solidarity for Shafie.