Friday, August 7, 2020

UMNO dominantly ticks Bersatu off on seat contest in Sabah

  Malaysian Mirror       Friday, August 7, 2020

In solidarity, UMNO and Bersatu could be seen kissing each other cheek to cheek yet this will never be extended to matters pertaining to seat allocations, especially in the coming Sabah state election. When Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor announced that the party is aiming to contest in at least 45 out 65 seats in the state legislative assembly, UMNO vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin refuted the claim by saying that Sabah Bersatu does not deserve to do so as it only exists because of a group of traitors and UMNO is still relevant in Sabah to continue receiving grassroot support.

Meanwhile, UMNO information chief Shahril Hamdan bluntly told Bersatu not to even dream about contesting many seats in Sabah. He said that Bersatu should continue acting like an ally if the party wants to befriend UMNO. Does this show that despite the failed coup on 30 July 2020 leading to the dissolution of the state assembly, UMNO continues to claim its ‘rights’ on Sabah? Does UMNO still want to be the ‘king’ in Sabah in spite of Tan Sri Musa Aman’s effort to gather assemblymen SDs from various parties including Warisan, UPKO, Sabah PKR and Sabah DAP while being the sole UMNO assemblyman? Is this possible, particularly when Musa Aman is less favoured by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin compared to his preferred ‘caretaker’ Chief Minister Dato’ Seri Shafie Apdal? Will Sabah UMNO succeed in its attempt to take over the state led by its head Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin?

This weird ‘love affair’ between UMNO and Perikatan Nasional (PN) is truly confusing, not just for Sabah but also the federal. UMNO president Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has released a statement noting that UMNO is against formally joining the PN coalition and will instead remain in Muafakat Nasional (MN). Was this decision made to save UMNO or his own soul? Perhaps leaving PN could be a means to an end for him and some of UMNO’s kleptocratic top leaders. While some claimed that Muhyiddin Yassin has been made a lame-duck prime minister with UMNO’s shackles around his neck, political analysts see him a possible UMNO new president with the help of Khairy Jamaluddin and Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein once Zahid Hamidi is found guilty and loses his eligibility as party president. Generally, the laypeople see all these moves as survival strategies for individual leaders, not much so for the parties. Thus, what would the pathway for Bersatu be now? Will Bersatu challenge UMNO or will it work its way through UMNO and take over?

By Adillah Jaafar

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