Family, Drama And Campaigning; Can There Be An Opposition Surprise

MUSA, ANIFAH AND HAFEZ, TWO BROTHERS AND A SON, MAKES IT FIVE IN A FAMILY FOR GE14; WHAT HAPPENED WITH USNO BARU?

COMMENT: Now the nomination day is done with, and the candidates are known, we can now look forward to an eleven-day of campaigning before polling.

There were some exciting talking points like PKR’s Tien Chua being disqualified to defend his Batu seat and how a would-be challenger of Negeri Sembilan’s Menteri Besar was not allowed to submit his papers allowing Mohamad Hassan to win the seat uncontested.

Then, there were candidates who forgot their passes and identity cards. What’s politics without its dramatic moments?

No wonder we are all political junkies, as these actors keep us entertained by keeping us on the edge of our seats.

FLASHBACK: Pairin Kitingan, centre, with Sairin Karno beside him, walking towards the Nomination centre in Keningau. Pairin has been the incumbent for Tambunan since 1976

Here, everything went smoothly with little drama – the stand out news would be Joseph Pairin, the PBS President defending the Tambunan state seat after declaring he was quitting politics.

Politicians always make promises; whether they mean what they say was answered by Pairin on Saturday.

Another notable piece of news was the number of relatives standing against each other and some keeping all their eggs in one basket.

SHAFIE APDAL

In Semporna, Shafie is standing against his first cousin, Nasir Sakaran in the state seat of Senallang. His younger brother Yusof, is defending Lahad Datu.

All the Penampang candidates in both state and parliamentary seats have blood or marriage ties to one another.

When the Barisan National (BN) candidates were announced on Thursday, many quickly picked out the Chief Minister’s relatives in the fray, mostly standing for UMNO.

His brother Anifah is defending his Kimanis parliamentary seat, the son in law, Arifin is also defending his Membakut state seat. There are other relatives also defending their seats like Ghulam Badar Khan in Kawang and Zakaria, the Libaran candidate.

Hafez Musa, left, and Noorhayaty of Warisan.

The real news was the introduction of Musa’s son Yamani Hafez who’s slotted to stand as the UMNO candidate for parliamentary seat of Sipitang, where his mother is from.

Then we had a police report lodged by some Usno Baru leaders claiming their financial director absconded with almost RM1 million in funds meant for paying the deposits of its 25 parliament and 60 state candidates.

Only two showed up on Saturday, using their own funds to stand as candidates. This Usno Baru is a pale shadow of the Usno that reigned supreme till 1976.

THE PERENNIAL PROBLEM WITH MALAYA-BASED PARTIES; THEIR NATIONAL LEADERS THINK THEY KNOW SABAH’S POLITICS BETTER THAN PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE

It looks like the weakest link in the Warisan Sabah -Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Not only its Sabah Chief, Liew, is contesting in two seats, the Api-Api state seat in the West coast and the other one in the East coast parliamentary seat of Tawau, this coast -to-coast attempt is definitely stretching its resources unnecessarily.

Christina Liew, the Sabah Pakatan Harapan chief is contesting both the Tawau parliament seat as well as defending her Api Api state seat.

And its choice of candidate for the Inanam state seat – choosing an outsider – does not sit well with the voters there because of the relative lack of machinery it can rely on.

A better strategy could have been worked out instead of making it look like a haphazard and whimsical approach.

PKR is contesting six parliamentary seats and nine state seats.

Much haggling was done behind the scenes to reach the understanding between Warisan and PKR.

While Christina was pretty realistic about PKR’s chances here, the party’s national leadership with two different factions not seeing eye to eye, had a more ambitious agenda of trying to secure at least 21 state seats to contest.

Warisan Sabah, making its debut in Sabah politics, impressed with its huge turnout of party supporters on Nomination Day.

That is the perennial problem with Malaya-based parties; their national leaders think they know Sabah’s politics better than people who live here.

In the last election, the same thing happened where the big shots from its national leadership came here to sort out the seat arrangements with the local opposition parties then. With their patronising attitude, of course it didn’t work out.

This time they were a little bit clever, they left it to Christina to sort it out.

Of course it was not easy as those people in KL wanted their own way, but negotiating with a seasoned politician like Shafie Apdal who understands Malaya way of doing things, they had to back off a bit.

Common sense prevailed, and a working relationship was established except with the other PH component party, Parti Amanah.

HAMZAH ABDULLAH

An offshoot of PAS, Amanah is led by professionals and intellectuals appeal to the more inclusive Islamists. Unfortunately, the party has little or no presence at all in Sabah.

Its President here, Hamzah Abdullah was very upset with Shafie for not wanting to collaborate with them as they had wanted two parliament seats of Kinabatangan and Batu Sapi and the state seats of Merotai, Bugaya and Tg Aru.

Amanah Sabah looked like it is led by an ambitious general but short of soldiers to go to war. In the end, they bucked the pact by contesting Batu Sapi and Merotai.

The DAP-PKR campaign in Kota Kinabalu where the opposition hopes to retain all four seats.

DAP is the least problematic of all as they are well organised and has a slick and tested machinery in the urban areas they are contesting. But it is the rural seats of Tenom and Bingkor where they will be severely tested.

They were the earliest of all parties to announce their candidates showing how well prepared they were.

They are to contest in 3 parliamentary seats and seven state seats. It should not surprise anyone if they emerge victorious in most of the seats.

While PKR Sabah can have lofty ambitions and be as ambitious as they wish, but, you must show the voters that you are a slick outfit like the DAP.

Otherwise your ambition remains what it is- a mere dream.

There are also the Gabungan Sabah – a four-party opposition party, PCS-AN, PKS, Usno Baru and a handful of others you hardly hear of, except come election time.

• Due to a technical glitch, Fly on the Wall could not be uploaded in its usual Sunday slot. We apologise for the delay.

CHECK OUT THE FULL LIST OF SABAH CANDIDATES HERE: –

Calon-Calon Sabah Bagi PRU14 /Full List Of GE14 Sabah Candidates