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Monday, July 25, 2016

Shafie to lead local Sabah party?

KOTA BELUD - Former Umno Vice President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal on Sunday said he will make an announcement soon on his new political direction.

"Just wait ... the time will come," he said when commenting on rumours about him going to lead a new Sabah-based party. "I see there is a need for a new local-based party to be set up in Sabah to champion and look after Sabahans' needs and interests as well as on national issues such as security and development of urban and rural areas," he said.

"I am not power crazy. What is important is fighting for the people of Sabah," he added.

Shafie, who is also Semporna MP, said this at the Hari Raya Open House of Saiman Umbang at the latter's residence at Jalan Kg Rampayan Laut, here.

It is believed to be the first roadshow of Shafie in Sabah after he left the party early this month following the suspension of his Umno membership by the party's Supreme Council on June 24.

More than 1,000 people attended the celebration. Also present were PKR Sabah chairman Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, United Sabah Alliance (USA) chairman Datuk Mohd Noor Mansoor, other party officials and senior leaders.

To a question, Shafie, who quit Umno on July 24, said he did not accept the offer by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to become the Deputy President of his (Mahathir) new party as joining it would mean returning to Umno.

"I did not reject the offer (by Tun Dr Mahathir), I only give my opinion. But I did tell him that if I joined him, then it would be as if I am rejoining Umno, as it is a peninsula-based party.

"I want to go for a Sabah-based party," he said.

Shafie also said he was confident that his new party would receive the support of people in the State and win in the next general election. "I won't jump into it if I don't have the confidence. The people of Sabah do not know much what has been happening and I fell it is time for them to know the real truth.

"Hence, I will be going around Sabah to explain to the people who have the right to know what has been happening and other issues as well that are relevant to them," he said. He also called on the people to be united and committed, including in fighting for the State's rights and interests.

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