KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — The dissolution of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly to pave the way for a state election is a good way to resolve the political uncertainties in the state, two political analysts said.
Associate Prof Dr Anuar Shah Bali Mahomed of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) said the election result would give a clear indication of the people’s support for the leaders of their choice.
Although the snap election would likely be held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has to be held in order to end the political imbroglio in Sabah, said Dr Anuar, a senior lecturer of UPM’s School of Business and Economy.
“Going by the Sabah (political) crisis in 1994, a political party would win big following the dissolution of the state assembly. Malaysian politics is very dynamic; it can change in a short time,” he added.
He said this when speaking as a guest on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme entitled “Sabah Politics: Mandate and Direction” last night.
His sentiment was shared by political analyst Dr Oh Ei Sun, who said most Sabahans feel that the outcome of a state election involving about 1.2 million voters would be a better gauge of political support than that based on the frequently changing situations caused by defections.
Oh, a senior fellow of the Singapore-based Institute of International Affairs, hoped that the coming state election would bring forth young leaders to fill leadership roles in Sabah.
However, fellow panellist Musram Rakunman said many people in Sabah felt that it would not be appropriate to hold a state election as Sabah is still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The coffee shop talk is about how the people could possibly go and vote…they are fearful of COVID-19…Sabah people are generally not interested in politics now; they only want the government to concentrate on (solving) the economic problems and fighting COVID-19,” said Musram, a Sabah political writer and analyst.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal yesterday announced the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for a state election to be held within 60 days.