THE MUCH ANTICIPATED ‘MOTHER OF ALL ELECTIONS’ WILL HAVE TO BE HELD 60 DAYS. MOST VOTERS CAN’T WAIT TO GO OUT AND VOTE, BUT SADLY, IS NOT GOING TO BE CONTESTED ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
COMMENT: It is here. The question has been answered with the dissolution of Parliament on Saturday. This was followed with the dissolution of the Sabah State Assembly, though Musa Aman announced it on Friday soon after the Prime Minister addressed the nation life on Friday.
The much anticipated ‘mother of all elections’ will have to be held sixty days henceforth.
Most voters can’t wait to go out and vote.
This election is not going to be contested on a level playing field of course.
The opposition parties will have to fight the might of the Barisan National’s (BN) machinery practically with one hand tied behind their back.
On paper, BN has all the advantage especially with the just concluded redelienation exercise and the Anti-Fake News Bill which was rushed through the just dissolved Parliament.
Then, the opposition parties under Pakatan Harapan (PH) in Malaya against all odds have managed to get their act together by agreeing to use one common symbol for the election.
The fear of BN is actually ex-Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir’s participation in this election as he is respected by the Malay voters, and he can win them over at the expense of BN-UMNO.
To this effect his party Parti Pribumi Bersatu (PPBM) was temporarily banned by Registrar of Societies (ROS) for not complying with the requirements required by the authorities which effectively barring it from using its logo. His photo is also not allowed on any posters during the election.
Many commentators are not convinced the opposition can surmount the roadblocks put up by BN as the mainstream media is also tightly controlled by them, the only source of information available to the rural voters, who will determine the election.
With the pending election, many people are relieved somewhat after three years of mudslinging dominated by the 1MDB controversy.
Now, it is the time for the battle for votes as the battle for hearts and minds is over.
Over in Sabah, the State Legislative Assembly was also dissolved Saturday despite the “constitutional crisis” poser.
The State Assembly passed a motion in August 2016 for the state to increase its present seats from 60 to 73. And Parliament was supposed to ratify this as required by the Federal constitution, but it was not done.
With the dissolution of the Assembly just announced it is assumed that the election here will be contested on 60 seats.
It is a real headache for all, 60 or 73 seats?
Some local political parties have filed the necessary papers for the courts to look into the matter.
So, is Sabah going to repeat its notorious history of political instability of yesteryears?
If the opposition wins the election will it be declared null and void? And vice versa? Or what?
Ideally, Sabah should have a separate State election until this is sorted out. Now that the Assembly has been dissolved, it is full steam ahead despite dark clouds approaching over the horizon.
In Sabah, former UMNO chieftain Shafie Apdal is making waves bringing the local opposition together. He has somewhat cobbled together a credible pact with the DAP and PKR to contest all the 25 Parliament and 60 State seats. But the opposition still seems split as the all-local Gabungan Sabah, and the KDM-based PCS-AN insist that only they should contest in the KDM areas. Such short-sightedness when Warisan is going all out for a ‘Bangsa Sabah.’
We can only wish for a peaceful election, and may the voters choose wisely who they want to represent them.
Don’t forget to put on your safety belts and enjoy the ride all the same.
IT WAS ALSO A GENUINE MULTI-RACIAL SABAHAN CROWDS DESPITE CLAIMS BY DETRACTORS THAT PARTI WARISAN CATERED MAINLY TO PTI; WHAT SABAH ALSO NEEDS NEW IDEAS AND A COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE SYSTEM
For political neutrals who attended Warisan AGM at the Hakka Hall Tuesday, it must have shocked them and some experience too.
Besides the huge crowds estimated to be around 8,000, with members yelling themselves hoarse with cries of “Ubah/Change”; the atmosphere was charged with electricity and excitement.
Whether the change will come, we don’t have long to wait now.
What was more impressive to the neutral observers was that the members were not paid to be there and many found their way to the venue as early as 5am. They came on their own in all manner of transport, some cramming six to a Kancil.
The enthusiasm on display, rarely seen before, was genuine, something nobody could dismiss lightly.
It was also a genuine multi-racial Sabahan crowds despite claims by detractors that Parti Warisan catered mainly to PTIs.
Warisan leaders and members, assuming they cross the line first this election; have to reflect and ask themselves what ‘Change/Ubah’, are they talking about?
The change the people in Sabah want is not from one Chief Minister to another.
It has to be more than that, there has to be more meat.
Sabah needs new ideas and a complete overhaul of the system, at least where State’s rights are respected and practised.
No point in change if corruption stays.
No point in change if there is no fairness and justice for all.
The list goes on.
The change must be real and for the good of all Sabahans and not for the privileged few.
And it cannot be a false dawn.
People don’t want to be disappointed again.
You have been forewarned. Good luck.