Dropping former chief minister Musa Aman from Barisan Nasional’s candidate list for the Sabah state polls could spell trouble for the coalition, say analysts
Sabah UiTM’s Tony Paridi Bagang said ultimately BN would rue the day they omitted a strong political figure like Musa, especially after he had professed his intention to contest the new Sungai Manila seat in the Libaran parliament constituency.
“Musa has strong grassroot support. Therefore, dropping him from the line-up may lead to his supporters voting against BN,” he told FMT, referring to the likelihood of sabotage from within the coalition.
“But to be fair, we also want to know why Musa is not in the list. Otherwise, it makes people speculate and create negative perceptions.”
BN election machinery leader Bung Moktar Radin was quoted by Astro Awani as saying Musa is not in the coalition’s list of candidates for the election.
The Sabah Umno chief told Astro Awani that no discussions were held about Musa standing in Sungai Manila, despite the latter having hinted so earlier today.
“His name is not in the list of BN candidates that will be announced tomorrow,” he was quoted as saying by the portal.
BN is scheduled to unveil its candidates for the polls at 10am tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s Romzi Ationg also agreed with Bagang’s opinion, saying if it was true Musa was left out, this could result in BN losing support and, most importantly, votes.
“Many of Musa’s hardcore supporters will likely protest (his omission),” he said.
FMT reached out to some Umno leaders but they declined to comment, preferring to wait until after Bung announces the list of candidates tomorrow.
Musa this evening sparked speculation over where he could stand in the upcoming state elections in a Facebook post.
Musa who is the incumbent Sungai Sibuga assemblyman wrote: “I’m going back to Sungai Manila.”
Meanwhile, Bagang contended that, if what Bung said was true, it proved that there were indeed factions within BN, especially in Umno.
“However, it may just be a political strategy for other BN/Perikatan Nasional allies to get seats.
“Who knows, he (Musa) may even stand under other banners, such as STAR or PBS,” he said.
Romzi, however, opined that with Musa out of the picture, the support for BN could increase with there being greater clarity on who the people would be voting for to be the next chief minister.
“The move (to leave Musa out) could result in more votes if voters see the act as an effort to ensure there is only one potential CM candidate among the opposition in Sabah,” he said.