PETALING JAYA: A political analyst sees Musa Aman’s appearance at an event attended by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday as a morale booster for the Sabah opposition.
“It quashes the belief that Musa may retaliate against Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional” for not being nominated to run in the state polls, said Tony Paridi Bagang of Sabah UiTM.
He told FMT the former chief minister’s attendance at the event in Beaufort must have brought relief to his supporters in both Umno and PPBM as it gave an assurance the two parties could work well together in the election campaign.
“PPBM is new in Sabah and it needs strong support from prominent leaders like Musa,” he said.
“Inviting Musa to the event is actually a recognition for him by Muhyiddin.”
James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute said Musa would always be a factor in Sabah politics, having been chief minister until recently and coming from an influential family.
He also spoke of Musa as a person with a lot of resources and a wide network of supporters.
“In fact, the rumour in Sabah now is that if Perikatan Nasional wins, he will be in line to be the next governor of the state.”
Chin said it did not matter that Musa was not running for election since the more important issue was who he and his supporters would back.
“If BN does badly, especially in Sungai Manila, then you know his supporters simply cannot accept that he is not contesting,” he said.
However, Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said he believed the former Sungai Sibuga assemblyman’s influence was “very limited” without any political post or a seat to contest for.
“Still, he has a role to play even with Umno seemingly distancing itself from him although, notably, this is not the case with Perikatan Nasional,” he said.
“Musa is aligning himself to Muhyiddin and, if he can demonstrate that he is an asset to PN in Sabah, I’m sure he will have a bigger role come GE15.”
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