Shafie fields brother, nephew in Warisan strongholds

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 3 — It is a family affair for Parti Warisan president Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal as he fielded relatives in the party’s stronghold areas.

His younger brother, former Umno's Lahad Datu assemblyman Datuk Yusof Apdal will return to frontline politics as the Warisan candidate for the now-renamed Lahad Datu parliamentary seat.

“Before, we had to topple him,” he said, referring to the 2018 elections where Warisan’s Dumi Masdal had contested against Yusof who was Umno division chief and beaten him.

“I wasn’t happy to do it to my own little brother several times. He joined Warisan but never asked to be a candidate. But now the people of Lahad Datu have said they want him,” he said, to loud applause during the party’s candidate announcement event here today.

Shafie, who is defending his Semporna seat for the eighth term also announced his nephew, 43-year-old Shariah lawyer Jamil Hamzah will be contesting the Bugaya state seat in the upcoming by-election after its former incumbent Manis Muka Dara, passed away in November of 2020.

Shafie was worried about who to place in the seat because the state does not have anti-hopping laws yet and chose Jamil for his expertise.

Bugaya is a state seat under the Semporna federal constituency while Lahad Datu is the adjacent constituency to Semporna. Both are considered Shafie’s stronghold where he is favoured to win.

“I chose candidates for their education and experience, who can withstand temptation. We must have a wide range of expertise,” he said, adding that he had interviewed each and every candidate.

“We wanted very fresh and clean candidates, those without baggage but with integrity,” he said.

Shafie had earlier unveiled his full list of candidates which includes 14 new faces, as well as four elected assemblymen.

Shafie is Senallang assemblyman, his deputy Datuk Darell Leiking is Moyog assemblyman, Batu Sapi candidate Alias Sani is Sekong assemblyman while Kimanis assemblyman Datuk Dr Daud Yusof is Bongawan assemblyman.

Shafie explained that the party constitution allows the top two leaders to hold both the state and federal elected positions and its first priority for candidates is the winnability factor.

“Both candidates have proven themselves and have done a good job on the ground. They can serve the people better.

“If they win, once the state assembly is dissolved, they will give way for other candidates to take their place,” he said.