KUCHING, Oct 22: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will win in the coming Sarawak state election, albeit with a reduced majority, opines political analyst Prof Dr Jayum Jawan.
“It is critical and important for Abang Johari as this is going to be his first election where he will be seeking his own mandate from the people to lead Sarawak. It will be a challenging task ahead due to many corners from opposition parties that sprung up over the last few months or years and attempting to go into election this time around.
“So it may not be as easy as before for the ruling party (GPS) to be returned with overwhelming majority or a two-third majority,” he said.
Jayum, who is the Dean Faculty of Humanities, Management and Science at Universiti Putra Malaysia was responding to criticism from Sarawak politicians who hauled him over the coals due to his comments during a recent webinar organised by his faculty titled ‘The Hornbill Dilemma: The Coming Sarawak Election’.
Among those in the meeting were Professor Dr James Chin from University of Tasmania, Australia.
Jayum acknowledged that what was said during the webinar drew a lot of attention as it was reported by certain local dailies, but he claimed that the whole conversation was not taken into consideration in the reporting.
“We did imply all the above. On the other hand we did not say that GPS is going to lose two-thirds majority but if they did, it is because of steep competition from other political parties or individuals.
“We also concur that local issues such as ‘bread and butter’ are more important for rural voters. They have little time to think about other (issues) that have little or no direct consequences,” he pointed out, adding that these voters are more concerned about issues that directly impact their lives.
As for urban voters, Jayum asserted that since this group has a little bit more as compared to their rural counterparts, it allows them to focus on state and national issues or even international politics.
Meanwhile, he thanked those who responded positively to or criticised the issues brought up during the webinar.
“I wish to congratulate those who were responsive with their different views. As we debate and differ our views on how to move Sarawak forward, I believe it is for the betterment (of Sarawak).
“I don’t mind sitting down and discussing, anywhere and anytime, issues that are important to all of us Sarawakians. I strongly believe every one of us wants to see a better Sarawak,” he added.
Calling Sarawak as the last hope to sustain the country’s harmonious, multi-ethnic living together, working hand-in-hand to form the government, Jayum said Sarawak has been embodying this way of living and it will continue to do so. — DayakDaily