Bersatu is not needed in Sarawak

To succeed inside a political party, one must cultivate an ability to sit still and remain polite while foolish people speak nonsense.

– Morton Blackwell, American activist

UMNO has never set foot in Sarawak because of a tacit understanding between the party and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB). Nothing was cast in stone and there was no written agreement.

But the UMNO-PBB understanding works and that is what matters. To this day, UMNO has never established a chapter or a branch in Sarawak.

I consider this a very rare case of politicians honouring their words. This UMNO/PBB ‘bromance’ could even be the most perfect “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” relationship in Malaysian political history.

Why not, when both sides are guaranteed of support come what may, especially after every general elections. For the past six decades, UMNO had been assured of Sarawak’s support as the head honcho of the federal government. Likewise, UMNO had backed the parties helming Sarawak all these years.

What is most interesting to note today is that UMNO and PBB are still locked in an embrace, being partners in the federal government but no longer in the same coalition.

The Sarawak governing parties had left the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition after the BN’s defeat in GE14 in 2018 to form Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Although not part of the federal coalition today, GPS remains an ally of the PN/BN government and is represented in the federal cabinet by several ministers and two Special Envoys.

In many ways, Sarawak is blessed because UMNO never has a presence here. No, not everything is perfect but for the most part of our Independence, Sarawak has seen political stability. Consider that our blessing.

Look at Sabah today. Where UMNO has a presence, expect some intense rivalry, internal or without. No thanks to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who brought UMNO into Sabah in the early 90’s. His motive – to divide and rule.

Then, came the infamous “Project IC”, supposedly the brainchild of the old man. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must be one of those who knew about this grand scheme against the PBS government of Sabah led by a Christian chief minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM or Bersatu) is another handiwork of Dr Mahathir. It was established in 2017 by him and other ex-UMNO leaders who were against their then president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

After Pakatan Harapan (PH) won GE14, Dr Mahathir brought Bersatu into Sabah, much to the chagrin of then Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and his Parti Warisan.

Looking back at 2018, even DAP, PKR and Amanah leaders could not stop Dr Mahathir from doing what he wanted. Warisan was a PH ally then and according to Shafie, there was an understanding not to set up Bersatu in Sabah but Dr Mahathir failed to keep his word.

Dr Mahathir, then the powerful Bersatu chairman, thought he could make Bersatu the new UMNO. It was said then that he wanted to get UMNO dissolved and all its members absorbed into Bersatu.

The grandiose plan did not succeed and today, Dr Mahathir turned into zero from hero, heads the mosquito Parti Pejuang and is left with little or no political influence, even among the Malays.

Even so, the nonagenarian is still dreaming of Pejuang playing the kingmaker role in Malaysian politics. Well, it’s okay to dream as dreams are free.

It was also Dr Mahathir who set up Bersatu in Sarawak in 2019, claiming that many Sarawakians wanted to join his party. Well, by now we know that Dr Mahathir’s “many Sarawakians” probably comprise 80-90 people, fewer than 100 surely.

And what does Bersatu want today? With almost zero support, it has the cheek to ask GPS for a few seats to contest come GE15.

Its president, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was in Sarawak recently to seek a concession for Bersatu. It wanted a few parliamentary seats.

I must congratulate GPS chairman and Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg for standing firm and saying “No” to Muhyiddin.

GPS will be contesting all 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak, Abang Johari had repeated his stand this week.

Earlier, several PBB leaders had declared that their party does not need any Bersatu candidates – GPS has more than enough capable people to represent the Sarawak coalition in Parliament.

This means “Good Riddance” to the ex-PKR traitors who had aspired to defend their parliamentary seats and had sought support from GPS.

Let me say this. I am so pissed off by these scheming, treacherous MPs that I wouldn’t even want to mention their names.

As I have said many times, these frogs and traitors must be voted out.

Their party, Bersatu, is also not needed in Sarawak because it is irrelevant.

I see Bersatu fading into oblivion as soon as Muyhiddin leaves the scene.

Meantime, GPS and PBB will be around for more decades to come.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune. Feedback can reach the writer at sirsiah@gmail.com

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