PAPAR: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) is the backbone of the Sabah Government, said its president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
The Chief Minister stressed that Warisan is no longer a small party as it currently holds 32 of the 60 state seats and nine of the 25 parliamentary seats in Sabah.
“Even though Warisan started as a small party, today (it has evolved into) the backbone of the Sabah Government.
“We are also one of the strongest parties in ensuring that the current Federal and State Governments can stand in this country today,” said Shafie in his speech at the handing-over ceremony of Warisan membership forms to former Umno Papar members, here yesterday.
“In Sabah, it is a fact that we (Warisan) have the biggest number, but even though Warisan is the backbone of the State Government, we had never used the opportunity to monopolise everything,” he then told reporters when met after the event.
He pointed out that Warisan had even given ministerial positions to DAP, PKR and Upko.
“We even gave the Deputy Chief Minister positions to PKR and Upko even though we were the bigger party, in terms of the number of seats to form the government,” said Shafie.
He stressed that the party was determined in ensuring that there is strong cooperation between Warisan and PH, both at the state and federal levels.
The ceremony saw a total of 3,000 former Umno members from 38 Umno branches in Papar submit their membership forms to join Warisan.
They were led by former Umno Papar vice-chairman Datuk Juil Nuatim.
Shafie said that they mostly comprised Umno Papar leaders.
He is confident that the addition of members would strengthen Warisan’s position in Papar.
Separately, Shafie said that the State Government would be looking into the plight of the communities living in the forest reserves.
He said the communities that had been residing in the forest reserves for dozens of years should have rights over the land that they had been residing in.
He has instructed the Forest Department and Land and Survey Department to look into the matter.
Among those present in the ceremony were Warisan vice-president cum Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony, Warisan information chief cum Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yaakub, Law and Native Affairs Minister Datuk Aidi Mokthar, Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr and Papar MP cum Warisan Papar chief Ahmad Hassan.