Shafie says he would rather die, but many Sabahans died instead

(Malaysiakini) – Former Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal has defended his decision to dissolve the Sabah State Legislative Assembly which paved the way for the state election, after he faced attempts to bring down his previous Warisan-led administration.

The Warisan president said he would “rather die” than hand over power to parties who had, at the time, allegedly attempted to buy over Sabah state lawmakers.

“To hand over power? I would rather die on the political battlefield…

“To die in the political battle because we left it (the decision) to the rakyat,” said the Semporna MP in his Budget 2021 debate in Parliament today.

“Once the rakyat decided who is in power, we have to accept that,” Shafie said in response to Mohamad Alamin (BN-Kimanis) who questioned whether he had any regrets in advising for the state election to be called despite Covid-19 concerns.

Shafie stressed he would not bow down to parties that practised the “cash is king” concept, and that the state polls would not have been called if his administration was not disturbed.

He had sought consent from state governor Juhar Mahiruddin to dissolve the Sabah State Assembly after a group of his assemblypersons had crossed over and pledged support for former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman.

Warisan and its allies subsequently failed to retain the state on Sept 26, after securing only 29 seats against Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s 38 seats.

GRS comprises PN parties that won 17 seats, BN parties with 14 seats and Parti Bersatu Sabah, seven seats.

Increased movements for campaigning throughout the state, as well as campaigners who went from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah, and their return home, have been attributed as a factor that sparked the third wave of Covid-19 infections nationwide.