Shafie is opposition’s best bet as PM candidate, Liew says

Tan Yih Pey

Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal has 30 years’ experience in the federal government and a good understanding of how national institutions work, says former minister Liew Vui Keong. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 26, 2020.

MOHD Shafie Apdal’s time in the cabinet was not tainted by scandals, unlike his former Umno colleagues, making him the opposition’s best choice of prime minister candidate, said Parti Warisan Sabah permanent chairman Liew Vui Keong.

Reiterating his support for the Sabah chief minister after the Pakatan Harapan presidential council declared it is backing Anwar Ibrahim as the next prime minister, Liew told a webinar hosted by The Malaysian Insight that Shafie is a neutral politician who has remained free of major controversies.

“Shafie has 30 years’ experience in the federal government and a good understanding of how national institutions work.

“He also served as a vice-chief when he was in Umno, and is a well-respected leader.”

The Sabah government under Shafie is multiracial, said the former law minister.

Liew said the politicisation of ethnic issues will ease should Shafie become prime minister, adding that the Warisan president will defend Sabah and Sarawak rights as contained in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

Webinar panellist Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior researcher at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said Shafie has more conservative Malay support than PKR president Anwar.

“Conservative Malays have never trusted Anwar. On the other hand, there’s Shafie, who isn’t Malay, but is Muslim. He previously served as rural development minister and has helped the people.”

He believes Shafie, who had the backing of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as PH’s prime minister candidate, is his own man.

Warisan permanent chairman Liew Vui Keong believes the party is more likely to go national if its president, Mohd Shafie Apdal, becomes prime minister. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 26, 2020.

“After being expelled from Umno by former prime minister Najib Razak for speaking up on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal (in 2015), Shafie did not join Muhyiddin (Yassin) and Dr Mahathir. He returned to Sabah to form Warisan.

“It can be seen that Shafie is not exactly a leader who grovels to Dr Mahathir.”

Having a Sabahan prime minister will be good for the whole country, and development in the Borneo states will finally be on a par with the peninsula, he added.

In addition to supporting its leader for the top job, Warisan has said it will amend its constitution to facilitate Dr Mahathir’s entry into the party should he wish to join.

In this regard, Liew said the matter of revising the party charter to allow Dr Mahathir to come on board was prompted by the media, and has yet to be discussed by Warisan’s top leadership.

“I discussed this when I met Dr Mahathir earlier, and he said he is still waiting for the court decision.”

Dr Mahathir is among six former members who sued Bersatu leaders and the Registrar of Societies over wrongful termination from the party. They accused president Muhyiddin and secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin of conspiring with RoS to seize power in Bersatu.

The five others are former deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, former youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, former supreme council members Maszlee Malik and Amiruddin Hamzah, and former secretary-general Marzuki Yahya.

The six were sacked from Bersatu on June 4 for supporting PH, the party’s former pact with DAP, PKR and Amanah.

Muhyiddin is working with Umno and PAS in the ruling Perikatan Nasional, the coalition formed after he took Bersatu out of PH in late February, with the prime minister now holding a slim majority in Parliament.

Liew is not ruling out the possibility of revising the Warisan constitution, and believes this is a good opportunity for the party to develop into a federal outfit.

He said Warisan is more likely to go national if Shafie becomes prime minister.

“I believe if the party can ‘cross to the west’, it’ll be a good thing. It can put the issue of race aside and promote inclusivity and tolerance.” – July 26, 2020.

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  • Enough of singing praises for Shafie. Let the people be the judge of it. Have a debate between Anwar and Shafie and let the people decide iwhich one is worthy of the Prime Ministership

    Posted 3 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply