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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Feb 10: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should remain neutral in the face of any political uncertainties affecting the ruling Pakatan Harapan federal government, opined political analyst Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi.
The associate professor attached with Universiti Malaya said the state ruling GPS must be neutral if a motion is tabled in Parliament to decide on the new prime minister.
“Whoever becomes prime minister, whether it is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, it doesn’t matter (to Sarawak),” Awang Azman told DayakDaily today.
He was commenting on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Joahri Tun Openg’s recent statement that Sarawak would prefer to remain neutral in the mounting speculation in Putrajaya over the Pakatan’s succession plan.
Awang Azman also deemed Dr Mahathir’s recent comment that Parliament should decide the next prime minster as trying to avoid giving up the prime minister’s position to Anwar.
“It seems that Dr Mahathir has forgotten how Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail) had kept the promise of Pakatan Harapan despite the Yang di-Pertuan Agong offering the post to her, as PKR has the largest majority in Pakatan, after the last general election.
“Dr Wan Azizah declined the post as she was honouring the spirit of consensus based on Pakatan agreement and let Tun Mahathir become prime minister until Anwar’s release,” he said.
Awang Azman pointed out that the mandate given to Dr Maharhir to become prime minister was based on the people’s choice during the last general election.
“The interest of Pakatan must be above any individuals and any individual who disagreed must realise that the seats they occupied now belongs to the people, who have given Pakatan the victory.
“PAS and the opposition did not give victory to Pakatan, but instead trying their best to break Pakatan in the hope of winning in the next general election,” he said.
He added that Dr Mahathir’s statement would cause uneasiness among Anwar’s supporters, in the passing of the baton to the latter, as it appeared not to be firm and direct.
“This was unlike the situation where Dr Wan Azizah did not accept the offer for her to become PM.
“There is nothing the opposition can do to affect Pakatan leadership. What is crucial is for Pakatan to make the decision and Dr Mahathir’s appointment as prime minister was not based on the opposition but was made through the support from Pakatan,” he continued.
Sarawak deputy chief minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said Dr Mahathir must quit as he had promised.
“A promise is a promise. Come May 9, 2020, you (should) quit. Whether the Dewan Rakyat agrees or not is not the issue,” he added.
According to Pakatan’s agreement prior to the last general election, Dr Mahathir would be made prime minister for two years, after which he would pass the baton to Anwar. — DayakDaily