Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Mohd Shafie Apdal said he needs to consult his party colleagues before making a decision on his nomination as prime minister if the opposition ousts the government.
The Sabah chief minister was named by Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister-designate if the pact retakes power.
“I am very grateful because the proposal came from Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It is something I must consider carefully as well as discuss it with the Warisan deputy president (Darell Leiking) and Warisan information chief (Dr Yusof Yacob).
“This a great challenge for me. I take it seriously. Give me a little bit of time (to make a decision), it won’t take long,” he told reporters after visiting SM Datuk Peter Mojuntin in Penampang today.
When asked whether he could trust the former prime minister, who had reneged on his promise to keep Bersatu out of Sabah, among other things, Shafie said that Dr Mahathir had also been generous to Sabah and Parti Warisan Sabah and gave them their dues.
“In the MA63 claim, he had given us 17 out of over 20 things we asked for already. We cannot get everything, but that was positive development. He also gave us three ministerial posts without question, even though we were only allies and not quite in Pakatan Harapan,” he said.
“But either way, we will discuss it. I will bring it up with my deputy and the party. I am the type who will want to consult my colleagues. Not that I am not decisive, but we cannot work in silos,” he said.
Shafie acknowledged that it would be the first time a Sabahan was even proposed to be the country’s prime minister and that it would meet the aspirations of many Sabahans.
“This is our country too; it doesn’t just belong to the Peninsula, but Sabah too.
“I will have to consider a lot of things. It has been the dream of our forefathers, Tun Mustapha, Tun Fuad Stephens and Stephen Kalong Ningkan,” he said.
Shafie said that he was qualified for the post with over 33 years of experience in seven different ministries at the federal level.
“I’ve been serving the country more than 30 years and people can evaluate how bad or how good.
“But I also have to think about what’s next in Sabah. Can’t just say goodbye to Sabah because of this opportunity. I’m not like that. It’s not inducement, it’s not for personal glory or ambition, but nation building,” he said.
On Saturday, former prime minister Dr Mahathir had announced that he and PH partners Amanah and DAP were in favour of Shafie to be the alliance’s choice for prime minister, PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim as deputy prime minister (DPM) I and former Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir as DPM II if the Opposition were to wrest Putrajaya from Perikatan Nasional.
Yesterday, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the PH component was open to any suggestions on the PM candidate, but the matter would have to be finalised by the PH presidential council.