Sabah caretaker chief minister Musa Aman said today that Parti Warisan Sabah president Mohd Shafie Apdal left Umno because he had his eyes set on the post of deputy prime minister.
“It’s not my style to get confrontational but I have to say something. Stop tip-toeing around this issue. Let’s call a spade a spade. That was why he chose to leave the party,” he said in reference to Shafie’s denial that he had ‘backstabbed’ caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak while in office.
Musa said that after not being able to secure his position as the next Sabah chief minister, Shafie left Umno and, by joining forces with Muhyiddin Yassin, had his eyes set on the post of deputy prime minister.
Muhyiddin was sacked in June 2016, together with Mukhriz Mahathir, after a year-long power struggle with the Umno leadership.
Shafie had already struck a deal earlier with Muhyiddin and Mukhriz before he left the following month, Musa claimed.
“To claim that he had placed ‘the future of the nation’ ahead of his friendship with Najib is laughable,” he said.
Musa said Najib did above and beyond for Shafie, helping him become an Umno vice-president and gave him the important Rural and Regional Development Ministry portfolio with the hope that he would help Sabah.
“I agree that without Najib's backing Shafie would not have achieved the extraordinary opportunity bestowed upon him,” he said.
He said Shafie should exercise a bit of political maturity instead of saying he (Musa) was not comfortable with his (Shafie’s) position as an Umno vice-president.
“If I was uncomfortable, I would have gone for the post myself. Not only I didn’t go for VP, I also did not contest for a supreme council post. I did not because of my commitments as chief minister,” he said.