3 Sabah leaders quash talk of defections
By LOONG MENG YEE
KUALA LUMPUR: Three Sabah leaders have quashed talk of Barisan MPs defecting to the Pakatan Rakyat, but said that their feelings of discontent needed to be considered.
"Do not fall for any attempts to create ill-will. But we must listen to what the voters want, and deliver security and development to Sabah and Sarawak," Unity, Culture and Heritage Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal told reporters at Parliament lobby.
Asked about Umno Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh's statement that leaders from East Malaysia were given unimportant ministerial positions, Shafie, whose ministry is in charge of museums, just smiled.
"I do not deny there is unhappiness on the ground. But I am here to serve the people and what is more important, we deliver development and security to them.
"Whatever positions the Prime Minister wants to give, that is his prerogative," he said.
Echoing the view, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said rife speculation of cross-overs was the work of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
"This has happened before in Sabah, the incessant talk about hopping, it becomes an interesting subject.
"In PBRS, we have given our word to the Prime Minister that we will not defect. This hopping business is manipulative and one loses the respect of the voters," said Joseph.
Abdul Ghapur said the Prime Minister should be given until the end of the year to solve the problems in the two states.
On the issue of hopping, he pledged not to do it.