With aspirations to form the next Sabah government, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said today it is now time for his older brother Tan Sri Musa Aman to retire from politics and let new leaders take over.
The Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) president said while he loved his elder brother it was time for the former Sabah chief minister, who ruled over the state for 15 years, to make way for others.
“I think he has done good job for Sabah, but I feel it is time for him (Musa) to give way to others to take over,” Anifah said.
Earlier, he was asked whether he would be inviting Musa to join PCS which would be contesting in a majority of seats in the coming election.
The former Umno MP for Kimanis said that he and his brother were on good terms, but they did not mix politics with family, pointing out that the Kitingan brothers Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan were also close but had very differing political ideologies.
“Musa is my brother — I love him — don’t for one moment think any differently but politics is different. Look at Pairin and Dr Jeffrey, they even contest in the same area.
“But there is no need to look at me as his brother. I should be looked at as the leader of a party as whether I can lead or not,” he said.
“As a Sabahan, I value greatly what Musa has done for Sabah, but I believe times have changed and it is time for others to take over,” said Anifah.
Anifah told reporters today that the re-branded PCS was targeting enough seats to form the state government.
There are 73 seats up for the grabs in the upcoming polls.
Anifah took over PCS from founding president Wilfred Bumburing, who stepped down during the party annual general meeting last month.
Bumburing is now deputy president.
Musa has filed for a court injunction to prevent the Sabah elections from taking place following a thwarted attempt to take over the state government via defections from ruling party Warisan.
Anifah admitted that there were several independent assemblymen that were part of the group that recently left the Warisan government to defect and support Musa that approached him to join his platform, but he was not receptive.
“No, thank you. We do not want people who jump from one party to another. Our stand is not to accept, they will kill me if I accept them. Or we can accept them, but they cannot stand as our candidate,” he said.
In the coming state polls, Anifah said that the party was willing to work with other local parties but not the incumbent government Parti Warisan Sabah.
He said voters wish to be represented by a Sabah-based party, causing them to vote Warisan in the last election, but have now realised that the change they want is not forthcoming.
“At the moment we are on our own, so we have the freedom to voice our concerns and issues close to our heart,” he said.
Anifah said his focus would be on getting State rights back under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and claiming back what dues are owned by the federal government.
“I’m pleading with our Peninsula friends, including Umno and Bersatu, please let us Sabahans manage our own state. We won’t interfere with other local parties like Usno or PBS and we won’t open up branches in Kedah, Penang or Selangor,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anifah is confident, with his extensive experience in diplomacy, of his ability to lead Sabah to greater heights.
He said his vast experience and achievements in the diplomatic sphere speak volumes of his ability to lead the nation, especially during tough times.
This includes his negotiation capabilities with foreign countries, which include securing the return of nine Malaysian diplomats from North Korea, and dealing with the MH17 and MH370 disasters, the dispute in the South China Sea, and the Philippines’ claim over Sabah, among others.
“I think if I can manage the well-being and welfare of Malaysia in the global community, I can also manage Sabah.
“It’s all about diplomacy, because your interest is also my interest,” said Anifah.
He was giving his views on alternatives for the state leadership, with Musa and Shafie Apdal tussling for the top job.
In view of the upcoming state polls, Anifah has been touted as a potential Chief Ministerial candidate.
Calling on Sabahans to support the local party, Anifah said the people should not regard him as simply “Musa’s sibling” but as a party leader.
On the re-branding of PCS, he pointed out that many youth have expressed interest in joining the party’s struggle, noting that senior leaders are ever ready to provide guidance to young members.
“Don’t for one moment think we are not capable of administering the state. We are going to join forces with young people, academicians, politicians, mixed professionals, as well as new and old faces,” he said.