Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has expressed surprise over a report in The Star that BN wants to call a snap election in Sabah, as early as April.
The report, quoting sources, also indicated that Prime Minister and BN chairperson Najib Razak has approved the move.
However, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has downplayed the report, urging the people not to speculate on it.
Lim recalled that BN leaders strongly criticised Penang’s proposal to call for an early election in the state last year.
The election was proposed by DAP on June 30 last year, to gauge public support for the party and for Lim, who was slapped with two corruption charges related to the purchase of his two-storey bungalow on Jalan Pinhorn, Penang.
The plan for the snap election was scrapped on July 31, after DAP could not reach a consensus on the idea with PKR.
“When Penang wanted the snap election, we were massively criticised. Now, they want to do the same (in Sabah). Why the double standards and change of tune?” asked Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.
DAP’s stand on snap election remains
Lim said DAP’s principle on a snap election remained the same: that a state has the right to call for a snap election, provided it has a good reason to do so.
“The reasons must be based on the principle of justice, that they must be in the people’s interest when making a decision like that,” he added when met during the launch of this year’s Butterworth Fringe Festival in Prai.
“But it seems that their (BN’s) reason to call for a snap election is to win more seats. That’s a personal reason, and a political one at that,” Lim said.
He slammed BN for its “hypocrisy” over the proposal for the snap election in Sabah and called on BN leaders to explain why this was necessary.
“They (the BN parties) seem to be consistently inconsistent!”
Lim asked if BN had lost confidence in running Sabah or being a good government that it overturns on its stand against a snap election in Penang to allegedly endorse one in Sabah.
“If the election is to do with justice, or victimisation against someone, or about security measures of the state, we can understand. But not when the reason is flimsy, like wanting to win more seats,” he added.
Meanwhile, DAP national political education director Liew Chin Tong urged Pakatan Harapan to be ready for a snap election.
Liew views the struggle in Sabah as a battle between Musa and Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.
“It is an open secret that Salleh is aiming to become the next CM and wants to foil Musa’s initiative to call for a snap election,” he claimed.
Musa’s move to call a snap election is part of a ploy to prevent Salleh from returning to Sabah politics, added Liew, the MP for Kluang.
He said Sabah is unlike Sarawak – where Umno is not the party that rules the state while Musa is not like the late Sarawak CM Adenan Satem, whose “reinvented image” was able to refresh BN in the state election.
“On the other hand, Musa is part of the tainted Umno party and he is an incumbent, with his own baggage. This will not do BN any favour,” Liew added.