Of politics and warlords

Strategy. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay


IN any political party, big or small, there are responsible leaders and there are dead wood. As the party gets more established, some powerful individuals will gradually evolve into “warlords”.

In a way, it is an inevitable and natural process for politicians in any political body to become warlords. This is because once certain leaders become more influential among his or her peers, they will slowly command greater respect; and in return, they will start to exert themselves in the party.

It is crucial for all political parties to have strong and responsible leaders as they are needed to propel the party to greater heights.

In a well well-disciplined party, warlords will not thrive as there will be check-and-balance. And even if these warlords were to practise money politics to influence members, the party whip will either chastise them or, in extreme cases, eject them. Failing to do so will lead to the party dying a natural death.

Warlords in any political party are usually powerful and rich (or filthy rich). They normally enjoy great respect because they expect their members to kowtow to them. Members naturally fear such leaders and their survival in the party depends on how far they are prepared to play bootlicker.

In Sarawak, Pakatan Harapan (PH), which comprises the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), still does not seem to have warlords, but the signs of this happening are emerging.

On the other hand, there are so many of such warlords in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), which is worrisome, indeed.

Danger lurking for GPS in 2021

As both PH and GPS are now gearing towards the next state election due in 2021, both coalitions are eager to shed unwanted baggage in order to gain traction with the grassroots, especially the voters.

As chief of GPS, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg cannot afford to have these warlords around in 2021, or GPS will be doomed. Hence, his immediate task is to get rid of warlords not only in his own party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), but also in the other three component parties: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), and in its friendly partner United People’s Party (UPP).

In the last general election, the warlords in state Barisan Nasional (BN)/GPS caused the coalition to lose 12 seats to PH. It is not that PH are strong in all the 12 seats where they won, but more because in half of these seats, there were infighting and sabotaging within the BN camp by warlords.

By right, these warlords should have resigned or relinquished their posts in the aftermath of the May 9 polls, but they chose to hang on.

In order to win the next state polls, Abang Johari really has no choice but to get rid of all these warlords, lest GPS be drowned by the deadly PH ‘tsunami’, which swept through many states in the peninsula and Sabah on May 9 this year. Even Putrajaya was not spared.

Herein lies a major headache for Abang Johari because many of these warlords are seemingly invincible in their respective parties and are still seemingly unaffected by the consequences of their doings. What a shame.

But there is still hope for Abang Johari, as time is on his side. He still has the chance to reconfigure GPS into a strong and united entity that is free of warlords and march to yet another victory come 2021. — DayakDaily