Why a snap election might be looming for Sabah?



KOTA KINABALU: Following the historic Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (Gagasan Rakyat) Annual General Meeting (AGM) at SICC recently, the burning question in the state political arena is whether Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor will really pursue a snap election.

In other words, will he dissolve the state legislative assembly and call for general state elections in the middle or end of next year?

In his concluding remarks at the AGM, Gagasan Rakyat president Hajiji, in what is seen as a moral-boosting teaser, hinted that the state election might be held next year, much to the delight of the thousand party’s delegates.

Although Hajiji did not rule out the snap election, he then again insisted that idea ‘hasn’t occurred to him’.

Many might wonder about the right timing for snap elections if the state election is indeed held early.

In reality, there is no better time for Hajiji, who is also GRS chairman, to call a snap election than “strike while the iron is hot”.

Although it is never wise to gamble on politics, this is the surest bet, according to political logic.

For every potential snap election, there are a litany of considerations that affect decision-making.

Right now, according to political observer and MA63 activist Remy Majangkim,
There are several factors that will likely weigh on Hajiji’s mind.

He said the obvious reason why Hajiji would probably pursue a snap election next year is because of the surge in public approval that he is receiving following the recently concluded Gagasan Rakyat AGM.

Remy said the majority of the delegates to the Gagasan Rakyat AGM are in a good mood to face the crucial upcoming state polls. But do they have track records to show?

“It looks like they have full confidence that Gagasan Rakyat leader Hajij, who demonstrates moderate, courageous, and effective leadership, will deliver the goods in the next state election,” he said.

Remy said In terms of popularity, the question of when to execute a snap election comes down to whether Hajij wants to do it when he is at his peak or after public sentiment wanes.

Remy said another factor contributing to the logic of a snap election next year is that it would not require Hajiji to disrupt the political calendar at all.

“A common criticism of snap elections is that it disrupts government work and policies to take in shape in other words, the ruling party garners criticism for forcing an election rather than focusing on their YB duties,” he added.

According to Remy, Sabah’s opposition parties are still in disarray right now, and this might be an advantage for the Hajiji-led Gagasan Rakyat.

Furthermore, he said the Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) is seen as “a loyal partner” in the GRS state government and former members of Perikatan Nasional.

Remy predicts that the clash of titans between GRS PH and Warisan, BN, KDM, Kerjasama (Anak Negeri) will take place in the upcoming state elections.

He said that although the ruling GRS/PH has the upper hand, the so-called opposition bloc are still capable of pulling off a surprise victory.

Related Articles


Latest Articles