Shafie overconfident – Lajim

Lajim (left) and Yong speaking to media representatives yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Shafie Apdal’s recent statement explaining his reluctance to work with local opposition parties which form the Gabungan Sabah alliance appears to indicate some degree of overconfidence.

Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah president Datuk Lajim Haji Ukin believed that without any alliances, no opposition party would be able to beat the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Sabah to form a government.

Lajim said the people of Sabah could evaluate Shafie and the leadership of Warisan Sabah through the statements that they had made, adding that Gabungan Sabah had offered to work with Warisan Sabah.

“I have even said that we will wait for Warisan to speak to us,” he said.

“However, Shafie has gone to my constituency five times, reportedly alleging that we are agents of BN (Barisan Nasional) and so on, but I have not even set foot on Semporna. So let the people decide who is it that really don’t want to work together.”

Lajim also said he did not understand Shafie’s categorisation of Gabungan Sabah’s leaders when he alleged that they had certain “colours”.

“I don’t understand what he meant with the colours. We want Shafie to state what these colours are and not to make accusations,” he said.

Lajim also took pains to remind Shafie that they shared the same objective, which was to ensure the fall of the BN government.

“So, even if you do not want to work with us, there is no reason to slam us and make accusations on opposition parties who have the same aim, which is to see the fall of BN and Umno,” he said.

Lajim said Shafie’s statement and accusations reeked of arrogance.

“Shafie hasn’t even been in the opposition that long, less than a year, while (Datuk) Yong (Teck Lee) has been in it for a long time, and (Datuk Dr) Jeffrey (Kitingan) has been an opposition for a longer period, and I have been an opposition member for five years,” Lajim said.

He claimed that Shafie did not even come up with his party’s struggles himself but copied them from other leaders.

“The struggle in the opposition of Sabah for Sabahans, for example, is copied from Gabungan (Sabah), from Datuk Jeffrey, while the agenda on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was also copied from Gabungan,” Lajim claimed.

He wondered if Shafie had not been sacked by Umno and from his federal ministerial post, would he have fought the same fight.

“Would he still speak about MA63 or tell Najib about MA63? Will he ask for the raise in oil royalty? Only now he talks. I know he had never fought as an opposition. His rise (in politics) was due to Tun Sakaran’s retirement…he was never tested as an opposition so he should abstain from making unprofessional statements,” Lajim said.

Lajim added that it was Shafie’s business if he wanted to work with Pakatan Harapan and not Gabungan Sabah, but he should not feel as if he was the only one capable of leading Sabah and was the State’s hero.

He also claimed that while in the federal government, the Warisan Sabah leader had never voiced out Sabah’s needs, or about the presence of illegal immigrants and foreign workers in Sabah.

“I was with him in the federal cabinet as a member of the committee concerning illegal immigrants and foreign workers. He never said anything. This was when Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin) was the deputy prime minister. He was even absent sometimes. But why does he suddenly see the importance of all these issues now?”

Also present at the press conference yesterday was Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

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