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Monday, August 1, 2016

Shafie Apdal to launch own party soon

KOTA KINABALU - After quitting Umno, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is set to launch his own Sabah-based political party soon, according to Malay news site Astro Awani today.

The Semporna MP was reticent on details but said the new party will consist of many former Umno members.

“I already have my party but we have yet to launch it. We’re waiting for the right time, and we will launch it as soon as possible,” the former Umno vice-president said in a news video clip posted on the news site.

Shafie, who has shown signs of returning to the Sabah political arena since he announced his resignation from the party early last month, said that the party will study the possibility of working with other opposition parties.

“We will have to study it first. It's good to work together, but we have to be careful, based on our experience with alliances,” he said.

Shafie had turned down former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s offer to be the deputy president of his new party in order to lead his own party in Sabah and lead a local cause.

Shafie was the first Umno vice-president from Sabah and among the Malay nationalist party’s pioneers in the north Borneo state, but his influence there has yet to be truly tested outside of his Semporna stronghold on the east coast.

Shafie had held the rural and regional development ministerial portfolio until he was dropped from the federal Cabinet along with then Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last year ostensibly for his criticisms of state-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad.

He was suspended by Umno for alleged misconduct and subsequently announced he was quitting the party on July 4, claiming unfair treatment.

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