More BN reps to jump ship to Warisan

Julia Chan
Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was sworn in as 15th chief minister last night. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, May 13 ― Four more Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen are believed to be jumping over to Parti Warisan Sabah today, after the latter’s president was sworn in as the 15th chief minister last night.

This comes as Sugut assemblyman Datuk James Ratib (Umno), Pitas assemblyman Datuk Bolkiah Ismail (Umno), Kuala Penyu assemblyman Datuk Limus Jury (Upko) and Kuamut assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah (Upko) were seen at Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s house today.

Ex-Sepanggar MP Datuk Jumat Idris and Sabah BN Wanita chief Datuk Armani Mahiruddin were also present.

Later when speaking to the press, Shafie said that the two Upko assemblymen were just confirming their stance to stay within Upko, which was aligning itself with Warisan.

“As for the Umno guys, they want to show their support for us, but join us? We’ll see how it goes. There was no decision,” he said, adding that the assemblymen said they did not believe there was a government in light of the lack of majority.

“Don’t get it wrong, they have not joined Warisan. They are just showing their support,” he said.

Shafie was sworn in last night, two days after chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

The latter was first to obtain a majority following a 29-29 seat draw after the May 9 general election when STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan chose to work with BN.

But since then, six BN assemblymen have crossed over, giving Shafie the majority.

The state has been hit with a power impasse as Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin swore Shafie in at 9.15pm on May 12, after meeting with Musa in the morning.

Musa however has insisted that he is the rightful chief minister, refuting claims that he has to step down and even chaired the first official State Cabinet meeting following the meeting with Juhar.

There is no word from Musa although official guards at his official residence said that he had come to the house at 6pm and left after packing up around 8pm.

Confusion is still in the air as the state has unofficially two chief ministers.

Shafie has said he will announce his Cabinet “very soon” and gave no word on when he will go to the State administrative building for his first day in office.