UMNO Secretary General, Dato Tengku Adnan Mansor had just issued a stern warning that reminded members to abide to the party's code of ethics. Those not selected as candidates should support the selected candidate and not sabotage the party.
This warning came about following announcement that the selected candidate for a Federal Territory seat is from MCA. Based on past track record, he has a better chance than an UMNO Division Head, who lost by more than 5,000 votes in GE13.
He is unlikely to turn around that deficit and let alone to turn it into a majority. However, he insisted to be selected. Just because he served the Prime Minister before, he should not be given special path and self interest should not be above the party interest.
Winning the general election should not be diverted by other factors of lesser priorities. And, words going around that there was intensive lobbying to change well selected candidates.
In Sabah, BN is making progress in areas not rated white and manage to turn the likes of Semporna and Kota Kinabalu into a 50:50 situation, at least almost.
Sabah has 26 Parliamentary seats (including Labuan) and is expected to win 23. If PM is persuaded to consider less relevant factors, it may cost BN several precious seats already in the bag.
As it is, BN should be able to weather the Tun Dr Mahathir storm to win this general election, defend its states and even shake the opposition controlled state.
However, the perennial problem of shooting their own feet may cost them, and even the unlikely possibility of losing the federal government.
It is feared that those vetting the reports from various sources may have no micro-understanding of the critical ground politics and take reports from opposition infiltrated agencies like KEMAS for granted.
For lack of experience, there is tendency to decide purely from a macro overview and not appreciative of the vote swaying factors from on-the-ground political operatives.
Certain factors when ignored could end up losing the seat.
|Local Murut preference for Tenom|
For the past few days, rumours from the predominantly Murut area of Tenom were saying the BN candidate will be a Jawa.
If so, it will not be acceptable to the Murut populace. More so, Jamawi is suspected to be still linked to Dato Shafie Apdal and the controversial "jalan monyet" of Kamabong that the Warisan people defended galantly.
Jamawi's reputation is partly tarnished by arrest by MACC for investigation. Despite being cleared by MACC, it may not be suficiently convincing and his chance is not good.
|Mistake that could be Kurup's curtain call|
The case of non-Murut made Member of Parliament in Murut majority area is not limited to Tenom but also Pensiangan.
It is currently being represented by compenent party President and a Dusun, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. On the ground, he managed to scrape through with last minute stunt for few general elections.
Sabah is a land of tolerance and acceptance to racial diversity but it has its limit. Kurup attempted to put aside an existing and performing Murut ADUN to be replaced with his son.
It is a disaster waiting to happen. Voters will not only vote out the DUN candidate but also the MP candidate as well.
|50-something too young in Sabah?|
Just next to Pensiangan, there is a percolating dissatisfaction over a state seat in Keningau.
The local voters have been wanting Dato Anuar Ayub Aman, a diligent 50-something party worker and coming from a respectable political family to be their wakil rakyat
His time is due but in Sabah, 50 is considered young and party elders are rather reluctant to give them positions.
Alas, an UMNO division office bearer managed to hijack the seat by the convincing argument that there is too many of the same family members.
The aspiring candidate had to toe party line but not the 4,000 of his supporters. From a case of 3-0 in favour of BN, that seat look likely to go and a worse case senario is it may affect the Parliament seat.
Tension between young and old is building up in Sabah and voters have gone to the extent of openly expressing rejection of traditional political family.
|Tan Sri Sakaran Dandai family need be handled delicately|
For instance, the party elders need to do a delicate balancing act between the steadfast loyalty of the Sakaran family especially in Lahad Datu and Semporna as voices emerging are shouting enough of the Sakaran!
Over conversation with a Sabahan yesterday evening, it may cost BN in areas like Silam, and Kunak.
The happenings in Keningau, Tenom, Silam, Kunak and Sepanggar raised the suspicion that there is an implosion game by few UMNO leaders still within the party linked to Shafie.
The game is to pit aspirants against each other and cause split in the local UMNO and BN.
In Tenon, one of the instigator is a dark horse aspirant but a square peg Pakistani with tarnished reputation (Sabahkini 2 revealed here.) A source in Tenom accused her of throwing the name of PM and Datin Seri Rosmah.
|Should be no problem for Rahman|
The effort in Sepangar involved a no-more-the-flavour former Divison Head. He is believed to have manouvred the defection of 7 UMNO members to Warisan.
The former head, Dato Jumat denied involvement. AKelantanis friend who lived and breath Sepanggar for upteen years said those are Jumat men.
His latest statement reported yesterday is a velied threat to sabotage from within or run as Warisan candidate.
Dato Abdul Rahman Dahlan is expected to move from Kota Belud to Sepanggar. Hishamuddin man Rahman initially faced resistance to the move. The current Division head Dato Yacob Khan is party man and whole heartedly support party elders decision.
|Maximus Ongkili too complacent|
Talking about defection, Kota Merudu recently faced a major defection of members to Warisan. The resentment by locals and the KDM community towards the acting PBS president and KeTTHA Minister, Dato Maximus Ongkili is for real.
For many years, disgruntled voters complained of his attitude to malas balik kawasan and leads a high life in Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. Maximus is too complacent for a future PBS President.
On top of that, Maximus is too defensive of PBS interest. In a recent spat, he refused Dato Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi suggestion to allow a beter chanced UMNO candidate to replace PBS and wrestled Matunggang. Tan Sri Musa Aman relented.
A future problem in the making for the KDM party component.
|Maybe not this time, Linda|
The same territorial attitude of PBS in Batu Sapi will cost BN the Parliament seat, sold a businessman with operation in Sandakan. Locals are saying it will take a miracle for the wife of the late Dato Edmond Chng, Datin Linda to win this time.
Linda won the 2010 Batu Sapi by-election. It was the one that saw Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and then candidate Anseri Abdullah fell into the sea when the platform between the houses at the kampong air fell.
She was a classic case of tidak balik kawasan. Locals said she lives in Australia. And she may not be the only politicians to do so in Sabah as there are a few within BN and opposition.
Despite having a poor service record and had kept allocation to within PBS members, she scraped through in 2013. Not likely this time.
|Locals expect more than a nice guy|
In Kudat, there is an intra-party problem in the making.
Our former schoolmate in Kudat alerted us of the huge crowd at a Warisan rally. Though it can be brushed off as paid attendance similar to the widely viraled recent Warisan AGM, the friend expressed concern.
Warisan got themselves a credible candidate to run for DUN Tanjung Kapor, which is currently represented by LDP President, Dato Teo Chee Kang. He is a trained lawyers and member of the Sabah cabinet. Media reports seemed to indicate he is a fine leader and wakil rakyat.
However, locals view him as meek and too subservient to Musa, thus may have not voiced and championed their requests. Our Kudat friend is a former PBS Division Chief and he felt Teo should be switched to another seat elsewhere and get a "Tan Sri Ching" back.
The solution lies with Musa and former LDP President, Tan Sri Chong Kah Ket to bury past hatchet and work together for BN. And Warisan will lose their candidate.
Within UMNO, there are intra party rivalries for seats, which does not involve implosion by Shafie Apdal, like is happening in Sipitang and Beaufort.
The decision lies with the BN Chairman and UMNO President in discussion with the various component party Presidents and state BN Chairman. That decision should be respected and abide by party members and leaders.
However, the fear within certain circles is that the committee advising him may be ill advised by inexperienced advisers with no GE or ground experience, especially on fine intricacies of Sabah politics.
The one that advised Mahathir, when he was PM, are those with feet deeply planted on the ground. They practically sleep in the kampongs to understand the feeling on the ground.
The decision making process should be "ground control to Major Tom" and not the other way.
By right, the Semenanjong in Putrajaya should leave fixed deposit Sabah and Sarawak on their own and focus on the problematic Semananjong political operations.
BN Sabah and Sarawak are more serious, committed and doing far better than BN in Semenanjong. Interfering only mess things up!