Sabah snap polls can settle political uncertainties, say analysts

Political analyst Oh Ei Sun hopes young leaders will be given a chance to take part in the upcoming state election.

KUALA LUMPUR: The dissolution of the Sabah state legislative assembly to pave the way for a state election is a good way to resolve the political uncertainties in the state, two political analysts said.

Anuar Shah Bali Mahomed, of Universiti Putra Malaysia, said the outcome of the election would give a clear indication of the people’s support for the leaders they want.

Although the snap polls are being held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it has to be held to put an end to the political imbroglio in Sabah, he said.

“Going by the Sabah political crisis in 1994, a certain political party will win big in a fresh election.

“Malaysian politics is very dynamic; it can change in a short time,” said Anuar, who is a senior lecturer of UPM’s School of Business and Economy.

He said this when speaking as a guest on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme entitled “Sabah politics: Mandate and direction” last night.

His sentiment was shared by political analyst Oh Ei Sun, who said most Sabahans felt that the outcome of a state election involving about 1.2 million voters would be a better gauge of political support than that based on the frequently changing situations caused by defections.

Oh, a senior fellow of the Singapore-based Institute of International Affairs, hoped that the upcoming state election would bring forth young leaders to fill leadership roles in Sabah.

However, fellow panellist Musram Rakunman said many people in Sabah felt that it would not be appropriate to hold a state election as Sabah was still fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The coffee shop talk focuses on how the people will be able to go out to cast their vote. They are fearful of Covid-19.

“Sabah people are generally not interested in politics now. They only want the government to concentrate on solving the economic problems and fighting Covid-19,” said Musram, a Sabah political writer and analyst.

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal yesterday announced the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for a state election to be held within 60 days.