Warisan Youth chief chided for not knowing real situation

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno deputy information chief Ramlee Marahaban has laughed off claims by Parti Warisan Sabah that Kg Bangau-Bangau was too small to have more than 200 voters.

“Obviously, Warisan Youth chief Mohd Azis Jamman does not know the territory,” he told FMT.

He was responding to an earlier statement by Warisan Youth chief Mohd Azis Jamman who said he was baffled when told of the large number of Warisan members supposedly in the Kg Bangau-Bangau branch.

Ramlee said Kg Bangau-Bangau was so big that at one time it had more than 6,000 households.

The Election Commission’s latest records show that Kg Bangau-Bangau has a total of 2,135 voters and sits within the Bugaya state constituency.

“So, how can Azis say there are just 200 people there? It’s nonsense. It shows his ignorance in this matter.

“I suggest that he forget his ambition to wrestle the constituency from BN if he cannot even identify the voters there,” Ramlee said.

Azis had expressed doubts that the 1,020 people who joined Umno on Sunday were formerly Warisan members.

He also said that Kg Bangau-Bangau was too small for even 200 voters, let alone 1,020, and said it was a lie to say that more than a thousand people, mostly from Warisan, had crossed over to Umno.

The former Semporna Umno Youth chief accused Ramlee, who is also Sabah assistant finance minister, of panicking over the loss of Umno’s influence, particularly in the Semporna constituency.

Ramlee, however, was adamant that Umno was getting stronger because many of Warisan’s supporters had become disillusioned with the party.

“These people approached my aides a few weeks ago saying that they wanted to join Umno.

“When we checked, we found that some of them had never left Umno while some were fence-sitters, although they had voiced their support for Warisan.

“Many of them cried, saying they had lost confidence in Shafie (Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal) and Warisan and wanted to rejoin Umno without any conditions.”

Ramlee said Azis’ statement might have been an attempt to divert attention from the real issue at hand.

He said Warisan’s influence in Semporna was clearly waning and the support towards Shafie was no longer as strong as before.

The decline could be seen even before the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against Shafie, he added.

On Oct 27, Shafie was released on MACC bail after eight days in detention to facilitate investigations into the alleged mishandling of federal funds for state rural projects.

Ramlee said when the Semporna MP returned home after his release, there were not many supporters left at Shafie’s house.

“I think more than half of the crowd were imported and these people were not even voters. Maybe there were 20% or 30% hardcore supporters but that is all.

“The people are now realising that Warisan is nothing but hot air. They simply talk without bothering to check the facts. And when the story backfires, then they will try frantically to plug the hole,” he added. FMT