Datuk Seri Shafie Afdal has made history by being the first ever Sabahan to be elected one of the three UMNO vice presidents, edging out his closest challenger Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin 1,445 votes to 1,397. 5th placed Datuk Dr Rais Yatim garnered a distant 491.
Probably helped by the fact that Sabah had the 2nd highest number of delegates with 325, second only to Johor.
The closest before this was in 2000 when the then CM, Datuk Osu Sukam just missed out when he finished 4th.
Both he and Khaled were supreme council members.
They were among those who received the most nominations – the others being Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Other vice presidential candidates who lost out were:
(i) Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
(ii) Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
(iii) Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad (incumbent vice-president)
(iv) Tan Sri Rahim Thamby Chik (incumbent supreme council member, got the lowest number of votes: 192)
For the 25-seat supreme council, all 3 Sabahan candidates were elected in: Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin and Datuk Bung Moktar Radin.
It might not sound that impressive, but consider the fact that many big guns failed to hold on to or clinch a supreme council seat [honorifics omitted]:
(i) Azalina Othman (Tourism Minister)
(ii) Mohamad Hassan (Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar)
(iii) Abdul Ghani Othman (Johor Menteri Besar)
(iv) Mohd Isa Sabu (Perlis Menteri Besar)
(v) Adnan Yaakob (Pahang Menteri Besar)
(vi) Shahrir Abdul Samad (Domestic Trade and Consumer Minister)
(vi) Noraini Ahmad (Deputy Human Resources Minister and outgoing Puteri Umno chief)
(vii) Johari Baharum (Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department)
(viii) Hasan Malek (Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department)
(ix) Siti Zaharah Sulaiman (former Wanita Umno chief)
Earlier, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, deputy head of Puteri UMNO and two-term Paper MP was elected the first Sabahan Puteri UMNO chief, beating out 5 other candidates: Datin Ismalina Ismail, Ida Rahayu Md Noor, Datuk Hahaniza Shamsuddin, Saarah Ali Bashah and Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid.
Victory must be especially sweet for her as she reportedly trailed Shahaniza and Ida Rahayu in the run-up.
In last year’s general and state elections, Sabah Umno helped win 14 of the 24 parliamentary seats won in Sabah and 32 of the 59 state seats.
So, all in all, it has been a good Umno elections for Sabahans.
P.S. I read that there were a total of 14 Sabahan candidates in the party elections – apart from the ones I mentioned above, did the others win too?