KOTA KINABALU: With Sabah Umno and Sabah Bersatu shaping themselves up as a single team ahead of the state polls, the million dollar question is about the role of former Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman (pic) in the political opposition landscape.
Pundits believe that the Musa factor has to be looked into by both Sabah Umno’s Bung Moktar Radin and Sabah Bersatu’s Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor as they negotiate for seats.
“Where is Musa in all this?” asked political analyst Rahezzal Shah.
He was of the view that the Musa factor had to be resolved amid strained relations between Umno and Bersatu over the sharing of the 73 seats at stake in the elections.
Musa, the 68-year-old Umno Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, unilaterally attempted to topple the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government of Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal by creating a block of assemblymen through defections from various parties.
However, the bid failed when Governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin dissolved the state assembly on Thursday.
(Musa’s attempt to topple the state government through defections was not supported by Sabah Umno with Bung saying he preferred to have a state election.)
Rahezzal said that Musa currently does not hold any position in Umno nor Sabah Barisan Nasional after he was ousted from power in 2018 by Shafie following the general election then.
“It is important for Musa to be included, perhaps as election director, for the state opposition to have a driving force, ” he said.
Rahezzal also said that it was important for the opposition to offer their choice of Chief Minister, as both Bung and Hajiji seemed to be open to the option of being the chief minister’s choice on their side.
For now, he said that Umno and Bersatu must resolve their seat allocations as Bersatu is asking for 45 seats.
Bung had made known that Barisan and its partners would go for all 73 state seats in the Sabah election.
According to Rahezzal, “it is not looking good for Umno and Bersatu as far as the seat allocation is concerned against the incumbent Warisan Plus, which seems united.”
“They (Bersatu-Umno) will reach some kind of agreement but sabotaging will still happen. It’s all about reducing sabotaging at a manageable level, ” he said.
Rahezzal said that Warisan Plus was looking more “relaxed and united”.
Sabah’s loose opposition coalition comprises Sabah Bersatu, which is mainly made up of former Sabah Umno members, Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Sabah (led by Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili), Sabah STAR (Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan) and Barisan parties Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and Sabah MCA.
Also in the opposition is Parti Cinta Sabah which is led by former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who is seen working towards creating a local based opposition force to take on Shafie’s Warisan Plus.
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