It’s About Winning Not PKR Dignity – Shafie Decisively Gives Anwar Only Seven Seats, Plus a Short Lecture

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While Anwar can afford to lose every single seat to be contested by PKR in Sabah, ergo the demand for 14 seats, Shafie must win big.

UMNO is a corrupt party. PAS is an extremist party. PPBM (Bersatu) is a racist and treacherous party. Combine all these three parties together and voila, you have a very powerful but corrupt, racist, extreme and untrustworthy coalition. Indeed, Perikatan Nasional coalition – comprises UMNO, PAS and PPBM – is an extremely powerful force that would win the next general election.

Fortunately, thanks to the common characteristic and nature of the three Malay-Muslim parties, the power-hungry leaders of UMNO, PAS and PPBM are busy plotting, lying, scheming, sabotaging and backstabbing each other. This presents a good opportunity to caretaker Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal to win the state of Sabah in the coming snap election.

Geraldine Tong/Malaysiakini

To win, however, Shafie’s Warisan party, together with its allies must be decisive, stay focus and united against the cash-rich backdoor federal government of Muhyiddin Yassin. But the bad blood between former PM Mahathir Mohamad and PM-in-waiting Anwar over prime ministership has spilt and jeopardize the relationship between Shafie and Anwar.

Shafie has today announced the seats allocation for his Parti Warisan Sabah as well as allies Pakatan Harapan (PKR, DAP and Amanah) and UPKO (United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation). As expected, Warisan gets the lion’s share and will contest in 46 out of the 73 seats. UPKO, a Sabahan party like Warisan, is allocated 12 seats while DAP gets 7 seats and Amanah 1 seat.

That means Anwar’s PKR party has been given only 7 seats, one seat less compared to the 2018 General Election. Two years ago, the party contested in 8 seats, but won only 2 of them, namely in Api-Api and Inanam. However, Kenny Chua, PKR’s former Inanam assemblyman, was one of 13 traitors who betrayed Shafie, leading to the collapse of Sabah government.

Interestingly, PKR pre-emptively announced yesterday (Sept 9) that it would contest 14 seats. Unlike 2018, the coming state snap election will see 73 legislative assembly seats up for grabs, an increase of 13 new seats due to redelinealition. Essentially, PKR was demanding nearly half (50%) of the 13 new seats on top of their allocated 8 seats in 2018.

Is Shafie being too greedy here? In the previous 14th General Election, Warisan contested 45 state seats and won 21 – a success rate of 46.7%. DAP competed in 8 seats and won 6 (success rate of 75%). Amanah lost all the seats contested. Therefore, PKR’s success rate was only 25%. But this is not merely about success rate. It’s all about the sentiment of the Sabah people.

Of the 866,725 total votes cast in Sabah, the alliance of Warisan-Pakatan Harapan grabbed 47.19% while Barisan Nasional secured 42.04%. More importantly, out of the total votes won, Warisan secured 31.3% (271,246 votes) while DAP won 9.1% (78,901 votes) and PKR snatched 5.51% (47,723 votes). Amanah, who fought with Warisan in one of the seats, managed only 0.02% (193 votes).

Yes, the so-called powerful PKR won fewer votes than DAP in the historic 2018 General Election, which saw the end of 24-year rule of Barisan Nasional in Sabah. Perhaps Anwar’s advisers should explain as to why the party won only47,723 votes, despite bragging of having 170,000 supporters or members in Sabah – the second-highest member base after Selangor.

In fact, UMNO Sabah won only 208,600 votes two years ago – suggesting that Warisan, which was formed only in 2016 by Shafie Apdal, was more popular. Like it or not, Sabah is a different kettle of fish as compared to Peninsular Malaysia. PKR might be popular in Peninsular, but in the Borneo state, Sabahans still prefers a Sabah-based political party.

Therefore, Anwar’s demand for 14 seats was not only silly and greedy, but also strategically dumb as it is as good as giving away free seats to Barisan Nasional or Perikatan Nasional. If you can’t even win half of the 8 seats given previously, how do you justify asking for 14 seats now? PKR can whine, moan and bitch until foaming at the mouth, but the fact remains they’re weak in Sabah.

Shafie was clever to spill the beans today to avoid potential spins and twists, saying – “I told Anwar who came to my house. I said I gave many seats last time, but they only won two. This is not the season for us to give seats, this is the season for us to win the election. It is not a question of ‘Oh our party will be looked down on if we have a smaller number (of seats)’.”

Reuters

The caretaker Sabah Chief Minister also appeared to lecture Anwar – “It is not a party’s dignity that is our priority. It is the dignity that we want to win the election that is more important. It is not based on the grassroots and the number of members (a party has) but the ability to contribute and win every seat we contest in.”

Even though Shafie could not stop PM-in-waiting Anwar from using PKR’s logo in the coming election, the founder of Warisan obviously was not impressed when he raised the issue as to why PKR was unwilling to use Warisan’s logo, unlike DAP and Amanah. So, there were at least three factors that contributed to Shafie’s refusal to entertain Anwar’s request for more seats.

First, PKR is actually weak in Sabah despite claiming to possess 170,000 members. Second, narcissist Anwar merely wanted more seats to avoid embarrassment of being looked down by others. Winning is not PKR’s priority, but to have more seats in order not to lose face. Third, Anwar refused to use a common Warisan logo to spite Shafie, who is aligned to Mahathir.

Like his earlier decision to quickly dissolve the Sabah Legislative Assembly before former Chief Minister Musa Aman could topple his government, the decisive Shafie Apdal has again made the right decision in rejecting Anwar’s unjustifiable request for 14 seats. He has even reduced PKR’s seats to 7 from 8 to reduce wastage as every seat counts.

While Anwar can afford to lose every single seat to be contested by PKR in Sabah, ergo the demand for 14 seats, Shafie must win big. That’s because the result of Sabah election will not affect Anwar’s plan to become the next prime minister. On the contrary, Shafie will lose everything if Warisan and its allies fail to win the Sabah state election.

But there’s one hidden reason why Shafie did not give in to Anwar’s demand. The PM-in-waiting could be a mole planted by backdoor Prime Minister Muhyiddin. If PKR is given 14 seats and somehow wins more seats, Anwar could betray the alliance and switch sides to Muhyiddin. After having been betrayed by 13 MPs, Shafie has every reason to be extraordinarily cautious.

Shafie is certainly not greedy. He is just being pragmatic, realistic and decisive. After all, Sabah is his home state, hence he knows what it takes to win, and to recklessly give 14 seats to PKR is not one of them. Anwar, on the other hand, was trying to satisfy the demands of his boys. He has nothing to lose. Perhaps he didn’t expect Shafie to reject him so outright and bluntly. – Finance Twitter