Sabah Opposition in disarray, DAP fires first salvo against Warisan ahead of GE15

KOTA KINABALU: In what is seen as a looming crack in the Sabah opposition block,  DAP has fired the first salvo against Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) ahead of the crucial 15th General Election (GE15), which is expected to be called soon.

DAP Sabah Secretary cum Luyang State Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe specifically  told Warisan president Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal to stop being hypocritical for accusing DAP as arrogant for defending seats that it won in GE14, namely Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tenom.

“I find it extremely unfair to accuse DAP as arrogant for defending the seats (Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tenom).

“On the contrary, he (Shafie) is the one that has repeatedly turned down the idea of the “big tent” and even saying that PH Plus is gone in Sabah, who is the egoistic and arrogant one now

“We have extended olive branches several times and I personally openly pledge to initiate cooperation between both parties to meet the aspiration of the people, it is hypocritical of Shafie to say that this is one way traffic, he is the one that turned down all these opportunities to discuss in a respectful manner,” he said in a statement, here today.

Phoong said any cooperation must be based on mutual respect, principles and common values.

“We gave our unwavering and unanimous support to Warisan under Shafie’s leadership especially during the 2020 Sabah elections and until today, we never tried to claim any seats that were won by Warisan in 2018 or 2020 but on contrary, Warisan contested in three DAP incumbent seats in Johor and earlier on, a Warisan supreme council member has openly announced that they will be contesting in all three seats in Sandakan.

” Who is the one being arrogant now is clear. Stop making DAP or UPKO or PH the scapegoat for your own shortcomings after failing to get the majority to form the government,” he said.

He said when DAP continues to pull the Opposition bloc together to stop the comeback of the Barisan Nasional and UMNO hegemony, it seems that Shafie and Warisan has decided to go solo to fight with everyone especially in Johor polls.

On June 4, DAP Secretary-General Anthony Loke said that the door for cooperation remained open but Shafie told the press that Warisan will focus on strengthening itself and not cooperate with the PH and Opposition bloc, he added.

“It is hypocritical to its best while Warisan is extending olive branches to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) yesterday right after declaring that it would not form any coalitions two days ago. What is more hypocritical is that Warisan has been attacking the GRS-BN government everyday but now they want to work with the ruling party?

Phoong said: “Shafie is also urging the Federal Government to introduce the Anti-Hopping Law Act today is another hypocrisy at its best”.

“If Shafie’s feelings are now hurted by his ex-members Rina, Peter, Yusof and others defecting, why did he accept political frogs such as Calvin Chong, Justin Wong and Bryan Lai?

” What goes around comes around. As Confucius says, if one does not want others to treat him in a certain way, he himself should be the first not to treat others that way.

“When DAP and PH signed the MoU to pressure the government to introduce the anti-hopping bill, Warisan even pulled all sorts of accusations and attacked the PH and Opposition bloc. Now they shift their stance and agree that this is a bipartisan effort that should be supported, how hypocritical can they be?,” Phoong asked.

Phoong stressed that Former Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng was the first Minister of Finance that doubled the special grant for Sabah since the 1970s, this shows that DAP respects Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners.

“And recently, PH Sabah filed a legal action against the Federal Government of the day to reclaim the 40% revenue, this shows that PH Sabah is firm in defending the rights of Sabah.

“Other than joining the efforts of PH Sabah, Shafie decides to blame DAP and Lim Guan Eng. If Shafie wants to shift the blame to Lim Guan Eng, he must reflect on himself first, he was an UMNO Federal Minister from 2004 to 2015, why only point fingers now? he said.

Phoong reiterated DAP’s stance that all parties that share the common vision of rejecting UMNO and BN should come together and form a team of “Avengers” for the people and not personal interests.

“It is fine if Shafie decides to decline the call for unity among the Opposition but stop being hypocritical and stop making baseless allegations towards us,” he said.

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