KOTA KINABALU: A political analyst has voiced disagreement with the notion that former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman is past his prime in politics.
Commenting on a remark made by Parti Cinta Sabah president Anifah Aman, Arnold Puyok of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said Musa had much to offer from his experience in politics and state administration.
Anifah, who is Musa’s younger brother, said the former chief’s minister’s time had passed and he should give new faces the opportunity to govern Sabah.
Puyok told FMT he believed Musa was “still a force to be reckoned with”.
“How do you explain his ability to persuade 32 assemblymen to support him in the bid to oust Shafie Apdal? Don’t you think it’s an incredible feat?”
Musa last month claimed he had the simple majority to form a new government after obtaining support from 33 Sabah assemblymen.
Thirteen of those assemblymen had crossed over from Warisan, Upko, PKR and DAP.
However, Shafie managed to get the state assembly dissolved with consent from Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Juhar Mahiruddin, paving the way for a state election.
The 33 assemblymen are seeking a judicial review of Juhar’s decision.
Puyok however said that Anifah, who is seen as a moderate and “pro-Sabah” leader, was also qualified for the chief minister’s post.
He said STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan and PBS president Maximus Ongkili could also be considered, but added that their sphere of influence was limited to the Kadazandusun Murut electorate.
Another analyst, Lee Kuok Tiung of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, said he wasn’t sure anyone had the credentials to be a candidate for chief minister if Musa chose to take a back seat.
“If Musa were to give way, anyone interested has to first prove that he is capable.”
He noted that the public had become familiar with the kind of call Anifah had made.
“Every time nomination day is near, there are people playing up the issue of parties needing to nominate younger or women candidates,” he said.
He warned of the danger of depending on candidates with unproven track records, saying parties in an alliance could end up falling short of securing enough seats to form a government.