Tuesday, August 11

Sabah’s snap election to be ‘direct referendum’

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KUCHING: The results of Sabah’s snap election would be a direct referendum for the people to show their unhappiness with the political developments in Malaysia, opined political analyst Prof James Chin.

“It is for Sabahans as Malaysians to not only provide them with a chance to vote and show their expectations but also a chance to show their unhappiness with the happenings in the country,” he said when contacted.

On Thursday, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had said Head of State Tun Datuk Panglima Juhar Mahiruddin consented to the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for a snap election. This followed former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman’s announcement on Wednesday that he had the simple majority needed to form a new state government.

Chin said the snap election is good as it could help strike fear in would-be party defectors.

“It will discourage the ‘katak’ (frog) politics in the future,” he said.

“Katak would be afraid of facing the people in snap elections because there is always a possibility that they will lose in such an election. The call for the snap election is a very strong signal from Shafie Apdal and the TYT to show that they do not tolerate the ‘katak’ culture.”

Fellow political analyst Prof Dr Jayum Jawan Empaling said Shafie outmanoeuvred Musa by playing with time. With the dissolution of the state assembly, Shafie has 60 days before the election must be held, giving him enough time to consolidate support, Jayum opined.

“If Shafie loses, then the opposition forces will be elated and that will boost their confidence in making a change in the ruling government,” he added.

A total of 73 seats will be up for contest following the addition of 13 new seats endorsed by Parliament last year.