Anifah Aman’s Parti Cinta Sabah may be the party to watch in Sabah state elections

Zainal Epi, Malay Mail Online

The political carnival in Sabah which started yesterday is in reality a show of protest against the greed of leaders who, over several decades, have managed to keep Sabah behind in so many aspects of life.

Several Sabahans expressed their disdain towards the political scenario in the state where leaders of local parties are scrambling to be chief minister without a clear blue print of development and benefits to the people.

“The end result is those leaders gain and the people who supported them still find it difficult to put food on the table with jobs hard to come by.

“Illegal immigrants have taken over the streets peddling fake and imitation products, depriving the locals of space to even sell nasi lemak.

“Yesterday’s nominations reflect the peak of people’s dissatisfaction which created a political scene where anyone can contest and be a leader,” said one Sabahan.

It’s a variation of Air Asia’s “Now everybody can fly” as Sabahans take politics in the state to “Now everybody can contest.”

The state is actually in a political mess where politics has become intertwined with personal agenda and family matters as well as tribal disputes where the line between serving people and self interests is blurred.

Some 447 candidates from 11 parties are fighting over 73 seats; whoever wins is bound to face disputes and may even be overthrown within days of helming the state.

Political ideologies and philosophies take a back seat as leaders focus on retaining and defending their positions, never mind the voters who are hungry for development to make their lives better.

However, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman seems to have introduced a new brand of politics with Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) that may appeal to the new young voters and old voters who are fed-up with the power struggle at the top.

Fielding 73 candidates with about 90 per cent in their forties, he has remodelled the Sabah for Sabahans motto used by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in 1985 and Warisan in 2018 by rallying the local professionals to participate and take the lead.

A young party where even Anifah himself seems not to be interested to become chief minister.

He seems to be keen on leading young professionals and getting them to take an active role in charting the state’s future.

The move may not jive with the other political parties that are contesting but Anifah may find his party becoming the king maker that will tilt the balance of victory.

Multi-racial, multi-religious, and full of young professionals who are locals, PCS may be what Sabahans need.

Anifah may even introduce a young new face to lead the state.

But PCS’ weakness may be the most important factor in every election – machinery. This is where established parties like Barisan Nasional (BN) and Warisan excel.