GPS won’t work with parties that ignore Sarawak’s rights, say analysts

Desmond Davidson

GPS leader Abang Johari Openg has made it clear that his coalition will not work with Pakatan Harapan because of DAP. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 17, 2022.

GABUNGAN Parti Sarawak leader Abang Johari Openg’s quarrel with Muhyiddin Yassin over the Perikatan Nasional chairman’s desire to field his coalition’s candidates in Sarawak have killed the chances of the two coalitions coming together to form a federal government post-general election.

GPS has also made it clear from the start that it will not work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) because of DAP.

Sarawak leaders have not forgotten that DAP’s two leaders Lim Guan Eng and Sarawak PH chief Chong Chieng Jen had done little to help the state when PH was in power.

This leaves GPS with only Barisan Nasional (BN) as a partner.

PN has fielded candidates in Saratok (Ali Biju), Lubok Antu (Jugah Muyang), Bintulu (Duke Janteng) and Batang Lupar (Hamdan Sani).

Political analyst James Chin said it is the numbers that count in the end

“People don’t care (who GPS partners with). They only care what the final numbers are on Saturday – (and) who has the numbers that could jeopardise Sarawak’s reinstatement of eroded rights,” he said.

Universiti Putra Malaysia political science professor, Jayum Jawan agreed with Chin that the feud between the GPS and PN leaders still left room for them to work together.

Chin said “in politics there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends”.

Jayum said Muhyuddin was simply reminding Abang Johari that GPS needed to reciprocate the goodwill PN showed his coalition in the 2021 Sarawak elections.

Jayum was referring to Bersatu’s Ali Biju, who had chosen not to defend his Krian seat to make way for a GPS candidate.

“Goodwill needs to be repaid,’ he said.

Abang Johari has denied any such agreement.

Chin said the people of East Malaysia have different aims.

“People in the peninsula are looking for political stability but this may not be the case for Sabah or Sarawak.

“We do not want a federal government that is so strong that it can ignore the wishes of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, like what happened in the BN years.

“Right now we have a perfect system where they (peninsular coalitions) rely on GPS to stay in power and lo and behold, we get all these concessions.”

He said there remains the likelihood that a coalition manages to win a majority in the general election will ignore Sarawak and Sabah’s demands for the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 to be fulfilled. – November 17, 2022.

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