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Thursday September 22, 2016
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Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal says he will be helming the new multiracial party he has set up. ― Picture by Saw Siow FengDatuk Seri Shafie Apdal says he will be helming the new multiracial party he has set up. ― Picture by Saw Siow FengKUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 ― Former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has set up a new multiracial party that replaces an existing Sabah-based party.

The former rural and regional development minister declined to name the new party he will be helming, but said it will be a multiracial one that will fight for local struggles.

“I was involved in the earlier set up of this party. I will be the new president once the RoS approves the changes we submitted,” he said in a press conference at the Registrar of Societies in Putrajaya today.

Shafie was accompanied by Sulabayan assemblyman Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, and former PKR vice president and Penampang MP Darell Leiking.

Malay Mail Online obtained a recording of the press conference.

He said he had earlier submitted to the RoS a change of leadership as well as logo, but declined to go into details other than to say the party was pre-existing and he had a hand in bringing the party together. He did not specify the party, which was purportedly established since 2013, that he was referring to.

“What is important is that the party is not national-based. I am still an MP and I will contest in Parliament. We want to make some changes to the government,” Shafie said, adding that he expected the registration process not to take too long.

“It’s a simpler process than registering a new party so I’m hoping it will be approved soon,” he said.

Shafie had previously indicated his intention to get back into Sabah politics, and was shifting his focus back to the state.

When asked about the abundance of opposition parties in the state, Shafie said that it was the prerogative of the voters to decide and that Sabahans will vote according to a party’s struggle.

Shafie had turned down former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s offer to be the deputy president of the new Bumiputera-based Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, in order to lead his own party in Sabah and to lead a local cause.

Shafie was the first Umno vice-president from Sabah and among the Malay nationalist party’s pioneers in the north Borneo state, but his influence there has yet to be truly tested outside of his Semporna stronghold on the east coast.

He was dropped from the federal Cabinet along with then Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last year, ostensibly for his criticisms of state-owned firm 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He was suspended by Umno for alleged misconduct and subsequently announced he was quitting the party on July 4, claiming unfair treatment.

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