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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Warisan has burned its bridges with us, says Gabungan chief

Sabah opposition alliance says it has been waiting patiently for Shafie to wake up to the reality of the tough work ahead.
KOTA KINABALU - Parti Warisan Sabah has burned its bridges with Gabungan Sabah when it cast aspersions on the leaders of the local opposition alliance, said its chairman Mohd Noor Mansoor.

“For more than a year, we have been hoping that Warisan will wake up to reality.

“As a former vice-president of Umno, Warisan’s president Shafie Apdal surely knows that it is no easy task to defeat Umno,” he said.

“The people expect Sabah parties to combine their strengths to beat Umno but, in spite of all our efforts and patience with Warisan, it seems that Shafie has made up his mind.”

The senior politician has been in the opposition ever since 1985 when Parti Berjaya, of which he was secretary-general, lost to the fledgling Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

“All of us in Gabungan Sabah have been in opposition politics much longer than Shafie.

“He should not talk about not trusting Gabungan Sabah leaders because we in Gabungan are tested and have survived the trials and tribulations of the struggle for Sabah,” he said in a statement.

“On the other hand, Shafie has enjoyed the luxury of being in power in government, until recently when he was sacked as a minister for being in the wrong Umno camp.

“Shafie and his team are only now learning how to walk, as far as opposition politics is concerned.”

According to Mohd Noor, Shafie and his close aides had personally persuaded him (Mohd Noor) to be with Shafie at his Semporna home for his “big day” to announce his departure from Umno.

“Although that was already the eve of Hari Raya, I travelled all the way to Semporna to show support. We only got home for Raya at the dawn of Raya. At my age, that was not a comfortable trip.”

He said after Warisan was formed, Shafie began to lose sight of the big picture. His party gave excuses like needing more time to set up the party, need to get members’ feedback and so on as reasons for delaying a cooperation pact with Gabungan.

“Openly and directly, Gabungan Sabah has extended its hand in friendship to Warisan. But it seems that Warisan has its own agenda,” said Mohd Noor.

Shafie, who is also Semporna MP, had said Warisan is willing to work with PKR and Parti Cinta Sabah to defeat BN.

But Shafie said his party would not work with Gabungan Sabah, saying he is familiar with its leaders.

Gabungan consists of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Sabah STAR), led by Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), led by Yong Teck Lee, Harapan Rakyat, led by Lajim Ukin and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS), headed by Arshad Abdul Mualap.

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