GPS must be relevant to member parties before it can be relevant to voters

PBB, PRS, PDP and SUPP have left BN to form GPS.

Commentary

ON May 9, the unthinkable happened – the two-party system or two-coalition system finally set foot in Malaysia following Pakatan Harapan’s success in toppling the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Now that this system is in place, the rakyat will inevitably scrutinise the component parties that make up these coalitions before deciding which side deserves the right to form the next government whenever there are elections.

Hence, the wellbeing of these micro parties is very important as they represent the essence of the coalition. This is something which the new local pact Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) must remember to stay relevant and to remain in power.

UMNO made the mistake of becoming too strong and domineering over the years, and this caused the BN to be decisively swept away by the `Malaysian tsunami’.

In reality, when one party becomes too strong, their leaders will inevitably become arrogant and eventually lose touch with their component partners. When this happens, information flow will become obscure, inaccurate and sluggish. Feedback and opinions from fellow leaders and grassroots from component partners tend to be blocked by ‘apple polishers’ who always hang around decision makers within the “big brother” component party.

As time progresses, extra channels and layers come into being, and before long, “Little Napoleans” are everywhere flexing their muscles. When this happens, there will be little to no chance for actual decision makers to make sound, swift and effective decisions. Everything they say will be sifted and altered to suit the needs of these ultra-powerful warlords, and the culture of cooperation erodes little by little.

Once the culture of cooperation fades away, the culture of bullying begins and the ability to tackle real problems will be, at best, pathetic.

Overtime, these leaders become so comfortable they turn deaf because their ears have not been used for such a long time.

Meanwhile, dissatisfaction and discontent keeps growing among members of the smaller component parties. This affects their voters also because their needs and demands are overlooked or sidelined.

The day will eventually come when the coalition is nothing more than an almost empty box decorated with the coalition’s logo. Yes, leaders of the various component parties will continue to attend meeting after meeting, but their spirit of cooperation and brotherhood is already lost.

When voters are left to rot, they will get angrier by the day, and that is the reason why BN failed miserably in the recent GE14.

In the case of Sarawak, the reason the State BN secured a landslide victory in the state polls in 2016 was because of the “Adenan Factor”, but it can no longer serve as a “pull factor” today.

For GPS to be effective, a change in name (from BN) is definitely not enough. It will not be sufficient to ensure it remains relevant and wanted by the people.

A change in governance, management and perception is required, but the most important of them all is that the new local pact must first be relevant to all its smaller component parties before it can be relevant to its voters! — DayakDaily