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Sabah Umno’s Shahelmey Yahya says ready to face consequences of sticking by GRS

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 7 — Umno MP and state assemblyman Datuk Shahelmey Yahya is ready to face the consequences of going against the party’s decision to pull support from the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition even if it means being sacked from the party and potentially triggering a by-election.

Shahelmey, who is state community development and people’s welfare minister, said that he did not attend last night’s meeting and press conference chaired by Sabah Umno chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin because he did not agree with the move.

“I think this is not the right time for us to rock the boat by changing the government. We have performed fairly well in the last two years with an increase in revenue from RM5 billion to RM6.6 billion in the last year alone.

“We have also attracted investment worth more than RM33 billion. So why should we change government now without any concrete reasons?” he said.

He said that gives the impression that Sabah was not politically stable, which will put off investors and shake their confidence in the state.

“I have also asked around and I feel the people do not want a change in government now. This is not the time to play politics. This is the time to work and build the economy; hence, I don’t agree and that’s why I did not attend,” he said.

When asked for his thoughts on Bung threatening to take action on dissenters, Shahelmey said it was the party’s right.

“I’m ready for it,” he said.

Shahelmey is one of five state assemblymen who is said to be against the party’s stand and are willing to back Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor to continue helming the government.

He is the Tanjung Keramat assemblyman as well as the Putatan MP. His sacking from Umno could potentially trigger a parliamentary by-election.

The other four dissenters are believed to be Tanjung Batu’s Datuk Andi Muhamad Suryady Bandy, Sugut’s Datuk James Ratib, Sindumin’s Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob and Tempasuk’s Datuk Mohd Arsad Bistari.

Even after Sabah BN pulled support for GRS and Hajiji last night, it remains unclear who commands the majority in Sabah’s 79-seat state assembly.