Tuesday, 6 November 2012

John Ghani may contest and win Kuala Penyu
as published HERE Free Malaysia Today

The fast-changing political scenario in Sabah has rattled the once outwardly steady Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition government of Musa Aman.
With the dust yet to settle from the exit of MPs Wilfred Bumburing (Tuaran) and Lajim Ukin (Beaufort) from the ruling coalition, Sabah Umno is making overtures to bring back into its fold former rebels who have switched sides.
Among them is former Kuala Penyu independent state assembly representative John Ghani.
It was bad news for Sabah’s now dominant political party when the popular Kadazandusun politician was forced to quit Umno after he contested as an independent against a BN candidate in the 2004 election and won convincingly.
Ghani showed that voters in Kuala Penyu, which together with Klias is part of the Beaufort parliamentary constituency, were not automatic Umno or BN supporters as had been assumed.
The defeated BN candidate, senior Upko leader Wences Angang, was no lightweight candidate himself. He was a deputy chief minister, and his defeat shamed Musa, Umno and the coalition who then had Lajim, one of the most influential politicians in the district, on their side.
As it now pans out, Ghani, a former senator, had shown himself to be a counter-balance to Lajim’s well-known influence in the district.
Since Lajim’s squabble with Musa and his divide-and-rule state policies, the expulsion of the former Kuala Penyu assemblyman has come back to haunt the party.
Both Ghani and Lajim have thrown their lot in with Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition with the former in PKR and the Beaufort MP now leading Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS), an opposition friendly political platform.
That’s bad news for Chief Minister Musa who has been busy trying to outflank potential challengers from within his party.

Ghani’s ‘powerful’ in Kuala Penyu

Early indications are that the internal manoeuvring within Umno, while strengthening Musa’s hold on power, has further weakened the party’s tenuous hold on various constituencies in Sabah and Kuala Penyu is among them.
Incumbent assemblyman John Teo of the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) is already facing a revolt from within his own party with Anggang keen to be nominated to defend the seat.
Ghani, who was narrowly defeated in the 2008 election after again standing as an independent is now with PKR and can count on the active support of Lajim and the tacit support of Angang if the latter is not selected to defend the seat by the BN hierarchy.
As things stand, BN’s chances of retaining the seat are slim and Musa knows this. Umno insiders say the party leader is now making quiet overtures to lure Ghani back into Umno.
The ruling coalition is mindful of the shock result in 2004 when Ghani polled 5,157 votes to Angang’s 3,139 votes. Guandee Kohoi of Setia and independent Saman Ahmad lost their election deposit when they only managed to get 308 and 633 votes, respectively.
Ghani, a Kadazandusun Christian, lost the seat in the 2008 election when he polled 4,159 votes, just 257 votes less than the 4,419 votes garnered by Upko’s Teo while Guandee who contested on a PKR ticket polled 589 votes in the three-corner contest.
Guandee has since left PKR and is now secretary-general of the State Reform Party (STAR), an opposition party headed by maverick Sabah politician Jeffrey Kitingan.
With Angang doing little to hide his friendly ties with Lajim as the BN leadership sorts out its candidates, Lajim has been busy touring his constituency and other areas to drum up support for Pakatan with Ghani.
Others within Upko lobbying for the seat are Linda Antoni, Munih Epin and Lokman Sunggim but a voter in Kuala Penyu said whoever the BN picked would face a difficult fight against Ghani if he was the opposition candidate.

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