Is GPS going to “give” or “take” as a PN friendly party?

Sarawak GPS leaders (Sarawak Voice Pic)

GABUNGAN Parti Sarawak (GPS) parties which are “friendly” to Perikatan Nasional might have to share their traditional seats with Bersatu if the latter wishes to contest in the next state election.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs Senior Fellow Oh Ei Sun cited as example Umno, which decided to go solo in the next general election but remains in the ruling coalition for the time being.

Hence, all other significant blocs in the ruling coalition must also strategise as to what is the best way for them to remain electorally significant moving forward, including whether to align themselves with Umno or Bersatu going into the next GE, or to remain neutral.

“As for GPS, if you are a friendly party, there must be give and take. And in this case, GPS is likely to be (have to be) the giving side,” he said.

He was commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg’s recent announcement that GPS to relook its ties with the PN government.

Oh Ei Sun

Oh said as the state election is looming, GPS would also need to take into account at least two related points.

First, if Bersatu and Pas, which have spread their wings to Sarawak, would contest in seats traditionally held by GPS, and GPS would then have to “share” seats with them.

Secondly, if continued support by GPS for a federal government that includes Pas, it would feed fodder to opposition criticism of creeping intolerance having been allowed to seep into Sarawak.

As such, there is indeed a timely need to re-evaluate GPS support for the present federal government.

“The Malaysia Agreement 1963 is an important issue but also a convenient reason,” he said.