By John Isaac
GABUNGAN Parti Sarawak (GPS) should make a gentleman’s agreement with Perikatan Nasional (PN) so that the federal coalition will not contest in Sarawak in the coming elections.
Universiti Malaya (UM) political analyst Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said GPS would face challenges if PN, in particular Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), is allowed to contest in either the state or general election in Sarawak.
“In the context of Sarawak, since the Barisan Nasional (BN) era, United Malay National Organisation (Umno) was not allowed to contest in Sarawak as the then chief minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had made a ‘gentleman agreement’ with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to prevent Umno from entering Sarawak.
“Now GPS may find it difficult not to allow PN, particularly Bersatu to contest either in the general or the state elections in Sarawak as there are Bersatu MPs from Sarawak namely Datuk Willie Mongin and Datuk Ali Biju, including other MPs such as Larry Sng, Jugah Muyang who have shifted their support to PN.
“If GPS gives way to Bersatu, then it would open the way for Umno or Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). This will result in GPS losing many seats as it needs to allocate the seats to the parties in PN,” he said as reported by New Sarawak Tribune.
He said should this happen, GPS or Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg might face the risk of losing popularity.
Dr Awang was commenting on Prime Minister and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who said that Bersatu would contest in every seat if Umno decides to contest all 222 parliamentary seats.
“This action could also cause dissatisfaction on the leadership of the chief minister and will result in an implosion of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and GPS.
“Hence it would be wise for Abang Johari to make a ‘gentleman agreement’ with Muhyiddin so that Bersatu does not enter Sarawak.
“The action of any PN component party contesting in Sarawak will also be used as an issue by the opposition as federal political interference in Sarawak politics,” he said.
On the remarks by GPS parliamentary chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof that GPS would look into how to accommodate Bersatu, Dr Awang said this is considered a fair view at the federal level.
“But Fadillah’s views also need to be given attention by GPS in giving way to Bersatu to shape Sarawak’s new political landscape.
“It should be discussed at the GPS and PBB level on the political implications, the pros and cons also need to be holistically looked into,” he said.