The shadow boxing by certain UMNO politicians using Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) a Barisan National component in Sabah and the Kadazandusun Murut Association Malaysia (KDM Malaysia) may be a precursor to a battle for the gaddi in Kuala Lumpur.
Sabahans often accuse their politicians of being short-sighted. Judging by the rhetoric’s, lobbying, mudslinging, conniving and scheming by the principal parties, we are actually looking at least as far into the future as the 13th General Elections, parliamentary and state polls, which must be held before 2013.
If you ask me the most interesting part of this coming election is the shadow-boxing within the Barisan National in Sabah.
Some UMNO leaders in Sabah namely Shafie Apdal is vying for the chief minister’s chair– not for today but definitely for tomorrow.
It is a bit silly to accuse — as Senator Chin Su Phin the Deputy President of LDP who with his President VK Liew has done — Musa Aman for being ‘opportunistic’ about the alliance with the Gerakan Party and for appointing Dr Yee Moh Chai of PBS as the new Deputy Chief Minister. To set the record straight, Musa Aman a fair man, has always has been loyal to UMNO and the Barisan National.
Musa Aman has stayed loyal and calm despite being accused by all sorts of things by LDP, even the UMNO chaps associated with Shafie Apdal are doing the same, hitting him under the belt. In spite of all these never once has Musa Aman lost his cool.
That loyalty — or political necessity — was also strong enough to withstand the disappointments of being accused and attacked by the his own UMNO fellows like Shafie Apdal using proxies like Senator Chin and VK Liew and now even KDM Malaysia trying to undermine him. Of course now after the story about VK Liew’s shenanigans with his Rungus staff and the police report in Kota Marudu which came out in Malaysia Today website, things have cool down and now VK Liew is throwing heaps of praises on Musa Aman. Whatever other adjective you may use of Musa Aman he has proved anything but ‘opportunistic’.
Given this 10-year history why is Shafie Apdal now eyeing Musa Aman so warily?
The simple answer is that Shafie Apdal believes that UMNO shall be a real contender for power come the 13th GE. Shafie also believes that, in the absence of a towering figure such as Musa Aman, the leadership of the Sabah BN may be up for grabs.
Finally, Shafie Apdal also knows that he is — again Musa Aman apart — probably the most visible face of UMNO Sabah and he thinks and he gives the impression that he has got Najib Tun Razak’s blessings to replace Musa Aman. I doubt this very much because Najib Tun Razak openly acknowledges that Musa Aman is doing a fantastic job in Sabah.
In the ordinary course of events Musa Aman would probably be the clear front-runner. He is by far the best chief minister Sabah has ever seen, articulate, workaholic and has propelled his state ahead of the rest when it comes to development, and has won every electoral challenge thrown at him — Parliament polls or state assembly polls since taking over in 2003.
Now lets look at KDM Malaysia and see how Shafie Apdal’s hidden tentacles has come into play.
Datuk John Ambrose is the founder and President of the newly registered KDM Malaysia (KDMM) and its number one purpose is to get Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDMs) to support Umno and its second most important intention is to break the KDMs away from PBS, Upko and the PBRS. In other words it is a tool to divide the KDMs.
Everyone knows that Musa Aman has got a perfect relationship with Pairin Kitingan and PBS, and PBS is the second most important party in the BN Sabah after UMNO. So in order to weaken Musa Aman, Pairin and the PBS must be weaken. And this can be done if a sizable number of KDMs are taken away from the PBS. Even Upko will be weaken in so doing.
After the failed Umno KDM Task Force, Shafie Apdal together with John Ambrose and one Peter Antony hatched this idea of KDM Malaysia. The objective was basically to weaken the PBS in order to weaken Musa Aman.
Ambrose says, KDM Malaysia is an NGO and it will undertake welfare programs and build houses for the KDMs poor. But, where will KDM Malaysia get the money to build thousands of houses for the poor KDMs? Ambrose says, KDM Malaysia will get funding from the government to built houses for the poor KDMs. Is this true? Is it true that the Ministry of Rural Development under Shafie Apdal will be the money man? Is it true that Ambrose got a yearly RM 40 million landscape project from University Malaysia Sabah to fund his KDM Malaysia? Is it true that Najib wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, YBhg Prof Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Kamaruzaman Hj Ampon to give the yearly RM40 million landscaping contract to Ambrose’s company?
Little bird tells me Bernard Dompok is very sore with the whole game play in trying to divide the KDMs further.
Little bird also told me that Bernard Dompok has met Anwar Ibrahim recently with a view to pullout Upko from the Barisan National if there is no Royal Commission of Inquiry on the issuance of blue IC’s to illegals.
Little bird also told me that Jeffrey Kitingan has agreed to stand on SAPP ticket for the coming 13th General Elections.
Little bird also told me it seems Pairin may also step down as the President of PBS in order not to face the dilemma and let the party decide to whether to side with UPKO in the worst case scenario. Pairin is really disappointed with “the plotters” trying to divide the KDMs further. According to Little Bird, Pairin did ask Najib Tun Razak about the KDM Malaysia and Najib just smiled and didn’t respond.
So, in the end, only PBS, PBRS and KDM Malaysia may represent the KDM’s in BN, it is feared.
If KDM Malaysia is not handled properly, this will put a severe dent in Musa Aman’s acceptability, particularly in those pockets of the KDM belt where KDMs constitute a major chunk of the electorate.
Looking to 2013 is all well and good but there is the small business of winning in 2013 that looms ahead just now.