447 candidates vying for a record 73 constituencies, campaigns have been going on in Sabah as the state counts down to the eventual tug-of-war for power, which also includes campaigning on the Internet, social media and also through the ever-classic text messaging.
Although limited due to the strict health protocols in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic, candidates were still determined to get the voice out and message heard.
As early favorites, the Parti Warisan Sabah-Pakatan Harapan-United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Warisan-PH-Upko) coalition leaped into motion early on, spearheaded by Shafie Apdal touring the state.
A coalition standing upon the theme of unity and purposed by the rights and interests of the people, the Warisan campaign team awed followers with its president’s rhetoric skills and down to earth humility.
Upko’s switch from Barisan Nasional in the last round allowed them to take over within days. However, things may be different from then, as this time, Warisan is stepping into the polls as the prior government and has showed what they lack in administering the state, something that their opponents would not take lightly on.
On top of that, it’s PH partner, Parti Keadilan Rakyat is worried to be lacking in representation.
Gabungan Rakyat Sabah
Backed by the Federal Government, the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) agenda is well delivered across the state.
“The reason the copy of the document was given to me as the prime minister is because some of the pledges involve the federal government, while some others, the state government.
“This is something that we need to do because the majority of Sabah people are still thirsty for progress and development,” Muhyiddin said when launching GRS.
Muhyiddin also tabled the offer of making Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chief Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor the chief minister if the election results do favour GRS.
Parti Cinta Sabah
Led by Anifah Aman, Parti Cinta Sabah is contesting in all constituencies and is putting their priorities on Sabah issues, similar to Warisan Plus. Although, it also claims to have no links with Warisan or any of the parties from Peninsular Malaysia.
Liberal Democratic Party
When the campaign started, the younger generation started enquiring about the Liberal Democratic Party. The legacy of honorary life president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat served as a reminder that things can be achieved by Sabah.
So far, some independent candidates have banded together but their ground has remain uncertain, such as the Independent Candidates Alliance led by former Sabah Progressive Party leader Datuk Melanie Chia.