With Musa out, Hajiji was obvious choice, says analyst

(FMT) – A political analyst says Hajiji Noor of PPBM was always the “obvious choice” as Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) nominee for chief minister, after Barisan Nasional had opted against fielding former chief minister Musa Aman at the state assembly elections.

“It would have made a huge difference (if Musa had contested) as his ‘aura’ as former CM will no doubt overwhelm Hajiji,” said former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia academic Azmi Hassan.

He said Sabah BN chief Bung Moktar Radin would be a liability in the post because of his ongoing corruption trial.

Hajiji was nominated by the GRS alliance yesterday, although BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the coalition was against conceding the position to any other party.

Azmi said that if BN had insisted on their nominee being chosen, “it will prolong the CM issue and provide Warisan an opportunity for a counter-coup”.

In view of Umno’s compromise, the party is likely to dominate the state cabinet by holding the post of deputy chief minister and ministerial positions.

Infighting caused BN to ‘surrender’ CM post

Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Pawi says infighting between Sabah Umno leaders was to blame for BN “surrendering” the CM’s post.

“By right, all Umno leaders should have opposed Sabah PPBM’s attempts to dominate the political arena,” he said.

There were other suitable candidates aside from Bung and Hajiji but they were not given a chance. “Had Musa contested, he surely would have been the CM.”

Awang Azman added that Hajiji must now be “gracious” and not monopolise strategic positions such as the finance ministry and works ministry.

“These should be given to the deputy chief ministers, if he does this there will be no power struggles.”