Is snap election exilir for Sabah’s turbulent politics ?

By A lawyer and political analyst Mohd Ustar Bin Haji Abdul Ghani


Sabah is once again set to witness a political kafkaesque. A disintegrated alliance, an analogy of a crack awaiting a split that will see Sabah’s political warlords embroiled in another political game of throne.

Political serenity is in jeopardy of collapsing, hijacked by greed, hypocrisy and self interest. Travesty and animosity breed within political recalcitrant, ploughing through the people’s mandate and democratic principles, a political malarkey.

Its approximately a month since Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim took office as the tenth Prime Minister. That political chapter was not least problematic. The political feud between Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional ensued in chicanery and denigration. That very culture is now showing its ugly head in Sabah.

Sabahans have expressed concern over this new political development. Is there a real need for such a political move?. Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Nor must have burned the midnight oil manoeuvring out of this predicament and so do the politicians aspiring to unseat him.

The political equations may not be undemanding as one might expect. Presently Hajiji enjoys the support of approximately 44 assemblyman, a number which will see him comfortably holding to power. Gabungan Rakyat Sabah has 29 seats and the recent call by Datuk Ewon Benedick assuring the 7 Pakatan Harapan assemblyman are solidly behind Hajiji is unquestionably adding up to the numbers.

Two independent assemblyman are rumoured to have thrown their support behind Hajiji and the more awkward proposition would be getting the five or six UMNO assemblyman rumoured to have expressed their support for Hajiji to make the final number.

Datuk Seri Bung Moktar is known as a shrewd politician. He had earlier hinted disciplinary action against those who betrayed party’s orders, devoid impunity. If and when those UMNO assemblyman in Sabah express their support for Hajiji, what would be the political repercussions that awaits them.

Unlike the federal government, Sabah has not enacted the Anti Hop law to contain party hopping. If anything, the action of any UMNO assemblyman to support Hajiji for political stability should and could not be construed as party hopping. All there is to it is a breach of party discipline that probably warrants sacking by UMNO leadership. That obviously would not come within the perimeter of party hopping.

Even as we speak, the state of Sabah’s polititics is mercurial. There will be more political upheavals in the coming days or weeks and may even end up in yet another courtroom drama to interpret Article 6(7) of the Sabah Constitution or even another snap election looming on the horizon. Is snap election exilir for Sabah’s turbulent politics.

Whatever the outcome of this political tumult, there will be casualties. Hajiji’s contemplation of a cabinet reshuffle may well be a hint of the imminent casualties assuming he stays in power. The biggest casualty would be the electorates who will once again be betrayed of a choice they made through a democratic process.

Otto Von Bismarck’s aphorism of “politics is the art of the possible” is now more possible due to greed, hypocrisy and self interest.

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