Sabah businesses shifting alliances?

Opposition STAR’s recent meeting with the Chinese business community in Sabah is indicative of the state’s political direction. 

(FMT) – Is the “ground shifting” in Sabah? The general consensus seems to be an emphatic “yes”. But the question remains: how far will this leaning towards the opposition be?

In the meantime, any hope of hearing Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announce polls next month came to naught at the end of the current parliamentary session yesterday after he failed to humour soothsayers and supporters of his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin.

Speculations were rife that Muhyiddin’s supporters were (indirectly) “pressuring” Najib to dissolve Parliament by Nov 30. But there was no indication of this during Najib’s speech at the Umno general assembly yesterday.

Technically the current government’s term ends on April 28 next year, so once again the wheel of fortune will grind with soothsayers and punters tossing possible dates post-Chinese New Year.

The further delay, albeit exasperating, has given Sabah chapter of the State Reform Party (STAR) under Jeffrey Kitingan added time to continue convincing voters that they should be voted in.

For fast-rising STAR, it’s the state that matters most and Jeffrey’s team is training its guns on the state seats. A recent series of meetings with the local Chinese business communities seem to attest to that.

STAR has some 7,000 Chinese among its 200,000 members and its Chinese task force recently gathered 60 members of the business community to a discussion at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.

Attending were “influential” members of the Sabah Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), the Sabah chapter of the Malaysian Travel and Tours Operators Association (Matta) and several other local business councils.

On the table were issues and policies”plaguing”, “controlling” or “holding back” the development of commerce in the state.

But this was not the first time STAR had met with key players from the Sabah Chinese community.