With Sabah State Polls on the cards, Pakatan Harapan must be prepared

The Star today front-paged a sizzling story about the prospect of Sabah calling separate state polls as early as April, fueling speculation about the possible ramifications of such a move on both sides of the South China Sea as well as the political divide.

From what I gather, there is a battle between sitting Chief Minister Musa Aman and Federal Communications Minister Salleh Keruak, who is the only person quoted in this piece by the Star.

It is an open secret that Salleh is aiming to become the next CM and wants to foil Musa’s initiative to call snap polls. Meanwhile Musa’s move to call snap polls is in part a ploy to prevent Salleh from returning to state politics.

Anyway, a Sabah state poll is now on the cards with more than 50 percent chance of it happening if Musa gets his way. The stakes are high for all. Musa will want the election to focus on state issues and with no mention of Najib, who is a negative factor for BN.

Sabah is unlike Sarawak -where UMNO is not the party that rules the state. As a Chief Minister, Musa is not Adenan whose reinvented image was able to refresh BN in the state polls. On the other hand, Musa is part of the tainted UMNO party and he is an incumbent, with his own baggage. This will not do BN any favours.

A point to note is that when Sabah was mulling a state election in June 2016 after the Sarawak election, Johor’s Khaled Nordin was also thinking of snap state polls. I have been watching Khaled’s moves in recent weeks – he has been making day-long visit to various parliamentary constituencies every week. One can’t help but feel that the idea of separate Johor state polls is not quite dead.

Let me remind my comrades in DAP, Pakatan Harapan parties, Bersatu members in Johor and Sabah, that we must gear up our effort in the weeks to come to prepare for possible snap polls in our various states.

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