GPS may not win as many seats as in 2016 state polls

SARAWAK’S GPS may not get the same majority in state polls as it did during Barisan Nasional’s rule.

Political analyst James Chin said GPS’ win in the last polls where it took 72 out of 82 seats, was mainly due to the late chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, reports FMT.

Chin, who is from the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute, said GPS would again have the upper hand in the next state polls due to a “fragmented opposition”.

“I expect GPS to win again, but not with the same majority as the last time. I think they will lose a few seats.

James Chin

“Unless something big happens, I doubt the opposition can win, especially since they cannot come together as a united front,” he said at the 2021 Malaysia Outlook and Economic Forum this morning.

It was jointly organised by the KSI Institute For Asia Pacific and the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Chin said that DAP, which he described as the most stable party in Sarawak Pakatan Harapan, will likely win in urban areas again.

According to him, Malay Muslim voters are expected to support GPS, with its main component PBB at the helm, while the Chinese will back DAP, and the Dayaks will also vote for GPS.

“The only group that is up in the air are the Bidayuh voters.”

Chin also believes GPS would not want to hold the state and national elections concurrently.

“I think they want separate polls,” he said, adding that the polls must take place this year “whether they liked it or not.”

However, DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, who expects the Sarawak polls to be delayed until after the emergency ends in August, disagreed.

He said there was a high likelihood that both the state and national polls will be held together for the first time since 1979.

“I believe GPS wants to hold the elections at the same time to drum up nationalism, regionalism and economic grievances.

“This is in order to win back parliamentary seats that the coalition lost in GE14, especially in rural areas due to infighting and a wave of national issues such as corruption and abuse of power in 2018,” the Bandar Kuching MP said.

Yii, however, said he doesn’t see the nationwide polls being called very soon, or even after August, as he believes that the prime minister will only do so when he is confident of a win and when the popularity of the party he leads – PPBM – is high.