Something Is Brewing at Shafie’s Residence Ahead of Sabah CM Swearing-In

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Warisan Plus may have been routed in last Saturday’s Sabah election, but the alliance does not appear to be letting up.

Outgoing Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal’s official residence in Kota Kinabalu has been abuzz with activities.

The Warisan president had been meeting with newly-elected assemblypersons since morning.

When he finally emerged from the seven-hour meeting, Shafie was coy about what was discussed.

He was asked about Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) decision to nominate Sabah Bersatu chief Hajiji Mohd Noor as the new chief minister but merely smiled and waved to his supporters.

“Thank you for the support,” Shafie said to his supporters who have gathered at the official residence since morning.

Asked about Warisan’s next move, Shafie merely said: “We will serve”.

Warisan Plus, comprising Warisan, Pakatan Harapan and Upko, won 32 seats in last Saturday’s election as opposed to Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, comprising Perikatan Nasional (PN), BN and PBS, which won a total of 38 seats.

The remaining three seats were won by independent candidates.

If Shafie were to pull off a coup, any permutation would require parties or assemblypersons from GRS to defect.

Any GRS party that sides with Shafie could destabilise the federal government as they are all also part of the PN coalition leading Putrajaya.

At the federal level, PN is an umbrella for all the parties in GRS but in Sabah, PN is one of three components in the coalition of coalitions.

Harapan meets in Petaling Jaya

Concurrently, the Pakatan Harapan leadership has gathered in Petaling Jaya.

The top Harapan leadership are expected to discuss PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to take over Putrajaya.

Anwar had on Sept 23 claimed he had secured a majority in the Dewan Rakyat to replace Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s PN government in Putrajaya.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had confirmed that those supporting Anwar’s efforts include some Umno MPs.

Muhyiddin only has the support of 113 MPs in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat. The defection of two MPs is enough to cost Muhyiddin his majority.

However, there has been some scepticism as Anwar had made a similar announcement in 2008, but nothing materialised.

Developing in parallel, Hajiji was summoned by the Sabah palace where he was presented with an invitation for a swearing-in ceremony tomorrow.

Hajiji was chosen as the chief ministerial candidate after a two-day deadlock.

Umno had wanted its Sabah chief Bung Moktar Radin as chief minister.

Zahid had told Malaysiakini that Bung was “pressured” to make the concession.

The situation remains fluid for both the future of the Sabah and federal government as political leaders meet on both sides of the South China Sea.

Earlier, Sabah Cultural Board chairman Datuk Ismail Bungsu, who’s also a Parti Warisan Sabah leader, revealed that statutory declarations (SD) are being signed by assemblymen gathered at Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s residence.

Met by reporters who asked whether there are SDs being signed by assemblymen, Ismail merely answered “yes”.

Asked how many assemblymen signed the SD – believed to be in support of Shafie’s candidacy as chief minister – Ismail said he was unsure, as it was a confidential matter.

He also nodded when quizzed whether there were negotiations ongoing.