KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — The sudden endorsement of Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be viewed with caution, a former lawmaker said today.
Mohamed Tawfik Ismail, who is the former MP of Sungai Benut, said he agrees with the candidacy of an East Malaysian to lead the federal government, but added that there could be more to the issue than what has been revealed by Dr Mahathir whom he described as having a penchant for “sowing the seeds of conflict”.
“Be aware of further splits arising out of this move. Soon I speculate Sarawak will say what is wrong with one of them, then we will see rivalry emerging in East Malaysia,” Tawfik said in a statement to Malay Mail this evening.
Just hours earlier, Dr Mahathir confirmed a leaked video showing his endorsement of Shafie as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Plus alliance’s PM candidate.
The 94-year-old Dr Mahathir said Shafie’s nomination was a “unanimous” decision made in an informal June 25 meeting with DAP, Amanah and Warisan leaders, adding that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was also nominated as deputy prime minister 1 candidate alongside Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir for a new deputy prime minister 2 post.
Tawfik, who is also the son of the late Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, also characterised Dr Mahathir’s politics as poison.
“What he did in Umno, indeed any entity that is strong, is a target for destruction. He succeeded in weakening Johor Umno, the party’s bastion.
“Look at Johor Umno now, a shadow of its former self. In fact, look at the depths to which Umno has fallen under his watch,” he said.
He urged PH leaders to be very careful of Dr Mahathir for his penchant to divide loyalties that result in weakened institutions.
“Look at the state of our legal system, our civil service, and much, much more,” Tawfik said.
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