KOTA KINABALU, Aug 11: Political analysts have downplayed the impact of recent visits to Sabah by federal ministers Mohamed Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin, with one analyst saying “nobody cared” about their presence here ahead of the coming state elections.

Universiti Teknologi Mara Sabah lecturer Rahezzal Shah Abd Karim said Azmin and Zuraida, both former PKR leaders, did not make an impact, nor did their visit give an advantage to any party.

“This is because no one is sure whether they are with PPBM or what their status is now,” he told FMT about Azmin’s meeting with top Sabah PPBM leaders.

Rahezzal said neither Azmin nor Zuraida were big names in Sabah and if their intention was to garner votes, it would not work.

“We know he (Azmin) came to Sabah before, to campaign for Pakatan Harapan in the Kimanis by-election but he didn’t draw the crowds,” Rahezzal said. He said not many in the state cared about their presence despite their role in the “Sheraton move” which led to a change in the federal government earlier this year.

Another analyst, Lee Kuok Tiung of Universiti Malaysia Sabah, shared similar sentiments saying that while federal leaders were bound to visit the state in the run-up to the election, Azmin and Zuraida would have little impact.

Lee said he was concerned that federal politics will overshadow local issues in the coming state election once federal leaders started descending on the state.

“The peninsular political agenda should remain there and the local issues, particularly Sabah’s rights and socio-economic development should be the focus of this state election.”

He added Azmin and Zuraida were also not as popular as other federal personalities.

“If it’s ‘Bossku’ (Najib Razak) it is a different matter because he is influential on social media, especially of late as he has begun campaigning for the Sabah election on social media. That is what sets him apart from Azmin and Zuraida.”


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