KUCHING, Jan 8: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have openly declared they would finish off Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the next state election, which is due in 2021, and take over Sarawak.
Will and can this happen?
Political observer Datuk Peter Minos believes that after its shocking victory over Barisan Nasional (BN) on May 9, 2018, Pakatan Harapan (PH) is very confident and highly so because PH is under the cunning and crafty 93-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who achieved the impossible by toppling the then mighty BN.
However, he opined, the true picture is different if anyone cares to look deeper.
Peter pointed out that BN under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was heavily tainted, especially with the 1MDB scandal, abuses of power and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). And PH exploited these to the hilt.
“It was, thus, more of a hatred of BN rather than for the love of PH that PH won. It was almost a case of PH winning by default although you can add that the name, reputation and personality of Dr Mahathir did tilt the balance towards PH’s favour.
“But Sarawak is a totally different ball game. GPS is not tainted by scandals like 1MDB. The issues critical to Sarawak voters are not the same as those faced by Peninsular Malaysia voters in 2018,” he opined.
What then are the issues that really interest and are of real concern to Sarawakians? Peter reckoned there are three keys ones.
“Firstly, there is now the Sarawak spirit or Sarawak nationalism that the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem espoused and aroused, which Sarawakians liked and continue to think and talk about.
“Secondly, Sarawakians have heard about the years of bad Sabahan experience under Umno and the Malayans. This has sent shivers through them.
“Thirdly, the continued refusal of the PH federal government to return Sarawak’s powers under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and also the continued refusal of Petronas and Kuala Lumpur to give any extra ringgit to Sarawak for its oil and gas has angered and disappointed Sarawakians at all levels,” he said.
Peter believed many Sarawakians now have second thoughts about ‘Orang Malaya’ after seeing the infrastructural development in the peninsula compared to the ones in Sarawak, most of it due to money from Petronas. The lack of justice, fairness and care from Putrajaya is also in the mix.
In addition, he observed that the federal government considered Sarawak as an opposition state and, thus, showed its “unfriendly” attitude towards the state. In short, Sarawak’s overtures for friendship have been spurned.
“So, naturally, Sarawakians, despite some differences among themselves over some domestic issues, are not very happy with Kuala Lumpur and PH. Sarawakians, in fact, have fears of what will happen if PH and the Malayans take over and run Sarawak.
“Many in Sarawak are talking and saying that even now, when Kuala Lumpur and PH are not yet in full control, Sarawakians are already feeling the unfairness and injustices, especially over the MA63 powers and Petronas issues. They believe if Malayans control the state, it will be very bad and very sad,” he said.
Peter believed PH is mindful of the true sentiments in Sarawak. Being Malayan-dominated, they do not really know Sarawak, while GPS leaders know the grouses and complaints of Sarawakians.
“They (PH) are in a strange and almost alien ground. They rely on their local proxies and surrogates, but they turned out to be only playing rhetoric and are perpetually in an angry and offensive mood and totally ineffective and hopeless in helping Sarawakians in any way.
“The local DAP and PKR are only very good in ‘cari pasal’ (instigating) and are always acting and talking like the opposition, not knowing that they are in government at the federal level,” he opined.
He said all these explained why Sarawakians are now saying ‘Sarawak First’ and ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians to Rule’.
“It is pretty obvious Sarawakians truly want Sarawak leaders to run Sarawak and lead them, definitely not PH or Malaya-based parties or local proxies,” he concluded. — DayakDaily