Electrifying. If one were to use one word to describe the atmosphere at the launch of Sabah BN’s manifesto at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex last night.

It was like a mini-concert of sorts, with various performances by local acts, interspersed with the highly-spirited cheers and energetic drum beats.

Apart from the repeated chants of “Tatap BN” (Still with BN), the Sabah BN manifesto launch had its own team of “ultras”, consisting of those mainly from Putatan, belting out the patriotic song ‘Perajurit Tanah Air (Inilah Barisan Kita)’ at irregular intervals and chanting in a more coordinated manner than the rest of the crowd.

And it would not be a bit of a stretch to say that last night’s manifesto launch was livelier than the national BN manifesto launch three weeks ago.

Last night’s programme managed to draw at least 10,000 participants. This involved the Sabah BN machinery alone, while the national BN manifesto launch saw some 15,000 people from BN divisions around the country thronging the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

It is because of last night’s turnout that several BN supporters believe the incumbent coalition would be able to garner as many seats as it did in the 2013 general election, and perhaps even more, this time around.

This, despite the presence of Parti Warisan Sabah led by Mohd Shafie Apdal, who was an Umno federal minister in the last election.

“I think we are still strong like before,” said Siti Rohani Juni (photo), 55.

“We’re not worried. Just look how many turned up tonight,” said Rohani, who is part of the Kota Kinabalu BN machinery.

The state government also has the people’s confidence, she said, citing various assistance given to the people.

Ahmad Wahab, 64, also believes it would be “easy” for BN to maintain its hold of the state as the government has provided “an abundance of projects for the people”.

“Everyone benefits (from the projects).”

Not worry about Warisan

Asked on Shafie’s influence, while Ahmad conceded that the former minister and ex-party vice-president may have some influence in the east coast of Sabah, but Shafie has yet to convince the people of Tuaran, said Ahmad.

“We don’t see Warisan’s flag here. They’re not active, at least not in my area,” he said, referring to the district north of state capital Kota Kinabalu in the west coast of Sabah.

Rohani, meanwhile, believes that the rakyat will be “wise enough” to judge when it comes to Shafie and Warisan.

“I think the people can see. He was in the government. Why didn’t he defend the people then, why now?”

Like the others, Mohamad Yusuf, from the Api-Api division, south of Kota Kinabalu, believes that BN “will still win” at the coming May 9 general election, pointing to the massive turnout.

He, however, acknowledged that those frustrated or not being named as candidates could lead to possible sabotage within the party.
“But despite the internal disputes, BN’s chances to win in the election won’t be affected,” he said.

Out of the 25 parliamentary seats in Sabah, BN won 22 of them in the last general election. The coalition also won 48 state seats in the 60-seat Sabah legislative assembly.

MKINI

Source: www.malaysia-chronicle.com/?p=106702  

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