By Emma Victoria
DESCRIBING Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg as the Chief Minister in Sarawak with the most strategic and fruitful leadership is merely ‘campaign talk’.
Political analyst Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said although the state is not expecting to have its election anytime soon as long as the emergency has not ended, it is ‘somewhere’ there.
Thus, he said, it is no surprise that the political party leaders are starting their ‘campaign talk’.
“Besides, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) ruling coalition, especially Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) is confident of winning, hence, they are in the position to say that the Sarawakians appreciate the government’s way of handing the Covid-19 pandemic without neglecting development,” he said.
Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jafaar, a member of PBB’s supreme council reportedly said GPS is confident Sarawakians would appreciate the string of development projects that have been implemented despite the Covid-19 spike in the state.
He said the government did all they could in terms of Covid-19 management and the people need to look at the achievements of the current government.
“I don’t want to undermine all the other chief ministers before this, but Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg provides the most strategic and most fruitful leadership I have seen in my 40 years of politics in Sarawak. Before this, we saw agendas only being implemented sporadically or in a fragmented manner, not systematically. But Abang Johari changed that,” Wan Junaidi said.
When asked if GPS can win more seats than what the previous Sarawak BN led by the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem achieved, which was 72 out of 82 seats – Oh opined that it is unlikely.
“No doubt, GPS (also the former Sarawak BN) still can win the state election but with less seats, especially with more opposition parties including the Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) contesting this time around,” he said.
He said GPS would be losing some seats, particularly those belonging to Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) to PSB.
But, there wouldn’t be any significant impact in the rural areas where mostly PBB has a strong and solid support.