Today, the battle in Sabah look specifically at two strong state leaders: – Chief Minister Shafie Apdal and Musa Aman, who was the former CM of Sabah.
Both Shafie Apdal and Musa Aman have significant influence and are essential individuals in winning the hearts of the people of Sabah.
They can ensure their political lifeline continues, however now it depends entirely on the people who will be voting.
A victory for PN could, in a way, help Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to secure a more comfortable position in the Parliament whereby he only holds a wafer-thin majority of two.
Shafie, who is Semporna MP, has held the constituency since 1995. Since then, he has won with the vast majority in the constituency as both UMNO and Warisan candidate.
Additionally, because Shafie is the MP for Semporna, race is a determining factor. The people will be inclined to choose ‘their own’.
Having said so, Shafie is ‘new’. Thus, there was not enough time for the Shafie to show tangible achievements in the state, compared to his ‘rival’ Musa Aman.
Also, Pakatan Harapan’s ‘broken promise’ on the oil royalty must also be taken into account on why people may not vote for Warisan.
In terms of economic development, this had to be given to Musa, who has brought much progress in this state while under his leadership for 15 years. This is apparent in the state’s agriculture and tourism sector.
However, Musa has his worries. The recent acquittal against him involving corruption and money laundering relating to timber concessions might lead the people to not vote for him.
Thus, Musa now needs to improve his communication to the people with his plans for Sabah to gain their trust once again.
Looking at the Influencers list, Shafie Apdal appears to be one of the top leaders to control the narration on the upcoming election.
Meanwhile, Musa Aman appears fourth.
The local mainstream media is learned to be more interested providing coverage for Shafie and Musa in the context of Sabah’s snap election although Sabah UMNO and Sabah Bersatu had said they would contest.
So, who’s game is it now that both claimed that they have the majority support? Will Warisan be able to retain their position as the Government? The result of this election will give an idea of what happened in the clash between Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan in the future.