The Sabah state elections have thrown into sharp relief how unstable, weak, confused, self-contradictory and a law-breaking government is the Perikatan Nasional federal government, or the proposed Gabungan Rakyat Sabah(GRS) mooted by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to fight Warisan Plus led by caretaker Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.
GRS failed to unite under a common candidate for the chief minister post. It also failed to agree not to contest against each other in 17 state seats.
In contrast, Warisan Plus comprising Warisan, DAP, Upko, PKR and Amanah do not fight against each other in any seat and agree on retaining Shafie as the candidate for chief minister.
Just as two deputy ministers had not shown any respect for Veveonah Mosibin, Muhyiddin is not showing any respect for Sabahan voters, by him or Putrajaya deciding on who is to be the next Sabah chief minister.
Whilst Muhyiddin has a two-seat majority in Parliament, the public does not expect PN ministers to contradict each other, not obeying and complying with the law, provoking racial and religious sentiments or spreading false news. Some notable examples of this type of behaviour:
– PAS support for its MP, who refused to apologise for insulting Christians with his demeaning remarks that the Bible is distorted;
– Two deputy ministers spreading false news instead of adopting the PN’s government “Tidak Pasti, Jangan Kongsi” (not sure, don’t share) slogan, and cyberbullying an 18-year-old Sabah female University Malaysia Sabah student, for disclosing that she had to climb a tree to get better internet coverage in Pitas, Sabah;
– Bersatu Youth chief and deputy minister calling for the abolition of vernacular schools that has existed even before Merdeka;
– “Sweetheart” compound of RM1,000 for a PAS Minister for breaching Covid-19 safety protocols of a 14-day home quarantine upon his return from Turkey, whereas a 72-year old Malay lady was charged in court and punished with a RM8,000 fine and jailed for a day.
– Allowing Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission(MACC) to practice double-standards by failing to act against the deputy defence minister for proposing his son be appointed to the board of directors of Pharmaniaga, which is under the Defence Ministry.
– Finance minister lying that RM6.61 billion of direct negotiated contracts was awarded by Harapan when only RM352 million was from the Harapan government with the remaining RM6.3 billion from the previous BN government.
– Housing and Local Government minister lying that I had negotiated personally a solid waste plant for RM170 million with a 10 percent reduction, when letters prove that the application for a direct award was made by her own ministry.
On Saturday, Malaysians witnessed Defence Minister Ismail Sabri openly disputing the statement by Health Minister Dr Adham Baba of a possible mandatory quarantine, on those from the peninsula who have gone to Sabah for the state election upon their return.
Such an unstable, weak, confused, self-contradictory and law-breaking PN federal government is a poor model for Sabah to follow.
LIM GUAN ENG is Bagan MP, former finance minister, and former Penang chief minister.