Shafie: Billions offered to court MPs and assemblymen

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Incentives to defect, running into “billions of ringgit”, have been offered to Warisan MPs and assemblymen to betray the party, Warisan president Shafie Apdal said.

He said he was among those to whom the offers were made.

According to Shafie, members of his party were courted almost every day by people allegedly aligned to the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) ruling coalition, with some even offering “billions of ringgit” in exchange for leaving Warisan.

Shafie claimed that the government was using funds to buy over assemblymen and MPs instead of dealing with the problem of nearly 700,000 people who were unemployed, many of whom were going hungry.

“Where is our country headed? The King has advised us to prioritise national and economic stability,” he said at a press conference in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

Shafie also said action will be taken against Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir, who quit to declare himself an independent.

He said Hassan had made a pledge and signed a document of allegiance to Warisan in front of the party’s lawyers, he said. “We will leave it to the lawyers,” said Shafie. “We never forced him to make the pledge, but he did it voluntarily like all other Warisan candidates.”

A video of Hassan swearing his allegiance was also shown to reporters after a Warisan meeting attended by all its MPs and assemblymen yesterday.

In the video, dated Sept 10 last year, Hassan had promised to hand in his resignation as Sebatik assemblyman to the Sabah governor and the Sabah state assembly if he switched parties.

Hassan quit the party on Feb 25, saying he was saddened that Warisan had prioritised politics over the well-being of the people, who were struggling to cope with the pandemic.

His decision to side with GRS means the coalition – which comprises Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) and PBS – now has the backing of 48 of the 79 assemblymen in the state.

In the state election last year, Hassan defeated PN’s Muis Picho by a 522-majority, garnering 2,665 votes.

Meanwhile, Hassan said he had no choice but to swear allegiance to Warisan last year because he wanted to be the election candidate.

He acknowledged that he had taken the oath of allegiance.

Bernama

“But this oath is not valid because I have to, if I do not swear, I will not be nominated,” he said.