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'Ready for Shafie's arrest next'
Published on: Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Opposition Parti Warisan Sabah is prepared for the eventuality of its president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal also being detained in the ongoing Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) probe into the alleged theft of RM1.5 billion federal development funds meant for the State.

Party Vice President Junz Wong said Deputy President Marcel Leiking would be Acting President should that happen.

Describing the spate of arrests involving Warisan officials the past week as political intimidation, the Likas Assemblyman said they were actually expecting it to happen last month and again when Shafie returned to Sabah on Oct. 6.

"That is why we had our live videos when he (Shafie) arrived in the airport. We are prepared for it," he told a press conference, Wednesday.

"He (Shafie) is willing to assist the MACC but not in this manner…I hope MACC can be more professional.

They should start charging if they have basis.

"If not, there is no reason to keep the leaders for many days," he said, adding that they have complied with MACC investigations previously.

"We had thorough briefings and many meetings in different levels of the party.

Our main party machinery is aware of what is happening as well as the things that are going to happen."

He said the party's supporters may be emotional over the matter, but was confident that they will understand.

He said the situation was similar to when PBS leaders were also rampantly held up for being in the opposition.

"This is also an attempt to put a stop to our financial support so that our party cannot move.

"But, it did not do any harm to us, and we continue to do our programmes and we have our plans…our work will continue as usual.

"This is part of the struggle which is a long process. It will never going to be easy," he said, and believed the detentions would further cement the perception that Warisan remains the only party that can defeat Barisan Nasional (BN) in Sabah.

He questioned why the investigation zoomed into Sabah although the Rural and Regional Development Ministry that Shafie headed before he quit Umno, has projects all over the country.

The sum said to have been siphoned off was part of the RM7.5 billion allocated for rural projects in Sabah channelled through the Ministry between 2009 and 2015.

"We are all for clean governance, but we are also against selective prosecution.

To me, this is political intimidation and we are ready to face it."

On rumours that Umno leaders were among those being detained as they intended to jump ship, Junz said this was not impossible.

"I do not know them (detained Umno leaders Jamawi Jaafar of Tenom and Ariffin Kassim of Tawau), but it could be possible. But if they think that there are only two of them, then they are a bit naïve.

"They are many who wanted to do so, it is only a matter of time especially when the election is called," he said.

Meanwhile, Darell in a statement, said the party was concerned over the health of its Vice President Datuk Peter Anthony.

Peter was sent to the KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital Wednesday morning after complaining of fatigue while under detention by the MACC.

He had been lamenting of exhaustion due to a hectic schedule even before he was detained by the MACC last Friday. - Ricardo Unto

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