Sabah “Show Hand Time”

Malaysiakini report .

Our own correspondent Bugi Wijaya of audie61 filed this report .

The visit by the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak to Sabah has been creating some ripples in the Sabah political pond.  While some of the amphibians choose to observe from the side there were a few that were hedging their bets on the game of political power muscle ala Russian poker style.

In case you are not familiar with Sabah politics, its called as “The Land Below The Wind” for good reasons.  Here although the people are not that politically matured as their counterpart from Peninsular and Sarawak (as mentioned by some strong Pakatan supporters because Sabahan kept BN on the 8 March 2008 GE) but they know their rights. 

 After all Sabahans has gone against the Federalism a few times since the early days.  Sabah politics is like the tag line of Nike “Just Do It” and its here that anything goes.


So it was the issue of ex-SAPP Deputy President Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah’s position in Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman’s cabinet that has been hogging the limelight in recent days.  It started with the call by BN’s LDP Deputy President Datuk Chin Su Phin calling for Musa to drop Tan from his cabinet citing Tan as a partyless independent state assemblyman.

The call was timed to concide with court case of the Mazu statute suit brought by former LDP President and CM Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat against Musa.  Many had said it the start of the downfall of CM Musa.

 Although being component party and colleagues in the state administration, the state BN parties followed suit with similar call.  Is this a move to shake CM Musa administration or is it really Raymond Tan they were after or the DCM post?

 As speculations mounted that CM Musa had asked Tan to join a component party to hold on his position as DCM, the question which party came to mind.


LDP says they welcome Tan but yet their action were akin to hostile to Tan and his supporters.  PBS and UPKO similarly welcomes them but statements from them were not friendly either.  PBRS has no comment being a Murut based party.  MCA state leader Datuk Edward Khoo had even boasted at a function as late as last Saturday that even if party president (Datuk Ong Tee Keat had met Tan in March with some advises given to Tan) agrees, and the state MCA divisions agrees, Tan would still have to go through him to join MCA.


As the seconds ticked and everyone eyeing the DCM post come Monday on PM visit, it is like a Russian poker game.


LDP had a straight, PBS and UPKO each had a three of a kind and a flush, PBRS with no hand and Sabah MCA with a Full House.  As Tan voiced his displeasure on how could he join in a party which has been hostile to him and will make his mind on which party to join in due course, MCA Sabah suddenly went on a pr campaign for Tan. 

 A few division head including state deputy chairman Datuk Paul Kong who is a Sarawakian (that’s why Sabah is a good example for PM’s 1Malaysia) had came out in the press welcoming Tan to join them.  There was still no official state by state chairman.

 As the seconds ticked away and even before the dust had settle on PM visit, when it was show-hand time it was Gerakan which had a ROYAL FLUSH!

 As a humble and quiet Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon announced in the morning prior to the PM meet the people session at the state padang Merdeka, that Tan including ex-SAPP youth leader Au Kam Wah will join Gerakan.


Thus, overnight from a really “mosquito” national party in Sabah, Gerakan had manage to upstage the rest including UMNO no. 1 partner MCA.  Gerakan now has a Deputy Chief Minister post.  With support from their ex-SAPP supporters, Gerakan will be a new force to reckon with their multi-racial approach.

 Thus the real winner now is Gerakan.  Another winner could be CM Musa advisor Datuk Tham Nyip Shen.  Tham who is a former DCM and ex-SAPP deputy president, has always been a level headed and action oriented leader.  It is a well kept secret that he is a good strategist and executor of political strategy and thinking.

We say as always,”Sabah politics is really like a roller coaster. You will always be looking over your shoulders as it might just turn overnight.