Former rural and regional development minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said he never had any ambitions to be the chief minister of Sabah and that he had once rejected the offer from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
“(Najib said to me) ‘Brother, I want you to become the chief minister of Sabah’.
“After that I told him, ‘Please don’t do that to me’,” Shafie, who is now the Parti Warisan Sabah (warisan) president, said at a party event in Sabah today.
The Semporna MP pointed out that he would have contested in a state seat if he wanted to become chief minister, and not in a parliamentary seat.
“Who has ever heard of a chief minister who contested in a parliament seat?” he asked.
This comes after Najib said yesterday that a former federal minister, who now heads an opposition party, had requested for the Sabah chief minister position.
He had said the request was made to fulfill the personal ambition of that former minister.
Though he did not mention names, it is believed he was referring to Shafie.
Shafie had quit as Umno vice-president after he was suspended from the post last year and dropped from the cabinet the year before.
He explained today that he did not leave Umno or the cabinet because he was disappointed that he did not get the chief minister post.
He left, he said, over the issues related to the troubled state fund 1MDB, which is Najib’s brainchild.
“I advised him (Najib), as a friend, to investigate 1MDB. Is that wrong?
“(But then) I was suspended during my umrah, without any investigations being done.
“That is like shooting someone first and investigating later,” Shafie said.