By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Aug 19: Two prominent political analysts today predicted that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would prevail in the coming 12th State election despite a mushrooming number of political parties gearing up to vie for the 82 seats in the State Legislative Assembly.
Prof Dr Jayum Jawan of Universiti Putera Malaysia (UPM) said that GPS would win with ease as all four of its component parties were solid and united.
“GPS is a solid party as it has established its die-hard support base. On the other hand, newly established political parties have not solid support, so they will fight for fence-sitters,” Jayum told DayakDaily when contacted today.
Commenting on Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact, he said it would not be able to make an impact as it is not led by a native.
“PH cannot expect to get any support from the Malays and Melanaus as they are solidly behind PBB. The only chance is to go for Dayak areas, but as it is, PKR is led by a non-Dayak, so that won’t augur well for the Dayak support that it seeks,” he said.
On the challenge mounted by Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), Jayum said it would not be able to create many inroads as its leaders were disgruntled former GPS leaders.
“They had their chance to serve the rakyat. What are they now offering that they did not have done before when they were part of the ruling party?”
Similarly, Assoc Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi of University of Malaya stated that it would not be easy for the opposition to dislodge GPS leaders led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who have been advocating for Sarawak’s rights through the recognition of State Sale Tax (SST) by the Federal Government.
“The recognition of SST by Petronas and federal government has shown that Abang Johari is not an ordinary leader and has shown that he will not give up easily, in the fight for Sarawak’s rights.
“And of course, with the extra income from the SST, Sarawak now can put more money for development where they are needed the most, especially basic amenities for the rural areas,” he said.
Awang Azman pointed out that in order for the opposition front to mount a credible challenge to GPS, it must come up with a shadow cabinet to prove that it is serious in serving Sarawakians.
“But now you can see that opposition parties such as PH, PSB, and other local-based parties are not united to gain solid support,” he said.
Nevertheless, Awang Azman reiterated that in any election, the stronger party should not be complacent and overconfident in facing their opponents.
“In Sarawak’s case, GPS, which is the lynchpin, should not let its guard down as voters – especially fence-sitters – could spring surprises,” he pointed out.
Currently, GPS, which consists of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) has 68 seats.
Both DAP and PSB have six seats each, while the remaining two seats are held by an Independent, Ali Biju, and the Pujut seat was left vacant following Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s dismissal from the DUN, after he lost his case in the Federal Court.—DayakDaily