KOTA KINABALU: The presence of former foreign minister Anifah Aman at a PKR event and his open support for Anwar Ibrahim to be the prime minister are a major boost for Pakatan Harapan’s campaign in Sabah, according to analysts.
Anifah’s presence at the PKR event in Putatan on Saturday night could help drum up support for the peninsula-based party in Sabah, the analysts said.
Sabah Universiti Teknologi Mara senior lecturer Tony Paridi Bagang said Anifah seemed to have been well-received by PKR supporters.
“This is something interesting and unexpected. The crowd looked like they were encouraged by Anifah’s presence.
“It seems that Anifah’s open support for PKR chairman Anwar’s bid to be the prime minister helped motivate the PH supporters here and indirectly added value to the coalition’s campaign,” he told FMT.
Anifah, a longtime member of Umno, was a four-term MP for Kimanis. He left Umno in September 2018 after Barisan Nasional lost power and became president of Parti Cinta Sabah in 2020.
Bagang, however, said there would always be some perception about Anifah’s motives, particularly because he is the younger brother of former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman.
“People will always have their own speculation. Both Anifah and Musa are veteran politicians and, for sure, they have their own way of political manoeuvring,” he said.
Lee Kuok Tiung of Universiti Malaysia Sabah said it seemed that on the surface, both Anifah and Anwar have decided to put aside their past differences and decide to open a new chapter for the future.
“Politics is fluid and, perhaps for them, it’s good to be idealistic and be prepared to be misunderstood, too. I think Anifah’s ideas will probably only become clearer later,” he said.
He also believed that with Anifah on board, it could help gain some support for PH candidates, particularly in Kimanis, where Anifah was the MP between 2004 and 2018.
PCS contested 72 seats during the 2020 Sabah state election and lost all, including Anifah, who lost the Bongawan seat to Warisan candidate Daud Yusof.
Less than a month ago, Anifah said his party will give its full support for any candidate fielded by the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah in the general election.