Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has chosen Perikatan Nasional (PN) as the coalition government’s leader, as well as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister.
GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg was quite clear about the matter, before knocking on the door of negotiations at Muhyiddin’s residence on Sunday morning (Nov 20).
Along with the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), the decision was actually reached a night before, after discussions with Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor late Saturday (Nov 19).
Together, the Borneo bloc contributes 28 seats, with 22 from GPS while GRS contributes six seats.
PN took home 73 seats and Barisan Nasional has 30 seats. It is possible that negotiations will include Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) which won in Julau through its president, Larry Sng.
In total, this alliance will have 130 seats – more than the simple majority of 112 seats needed to form the government. What is really interesting is how Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim accepts this situation.
He was confident enough to hold the lead with 78 seats as of 8pm on Saturday night. He might have thought the extra 30 seats are his because of negotiations he’s had with various UMNO factions.
Because of that, he was quite confident that he had the numbers.
When interviewed on Sunday, Anwar sarcastically stated that UMNO, Bersatu, and PAS had put a shadow-play when they condemneed each other’s opponents.
In fact, he said, there was a behind-the-scenes negotiation with Bersatu, conducted by Datuk Mohammad Hassan and Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein.
Was Zahid unaware of this negotiation? It is not impossible that secret negotiations took place behind his back while keeping the spirit of the UMNO General Assembly (PAU) in mind. As a result, UMNO is currently in a state of crisis, prompting the resignation of UMNO information chief and Selangor Liaison Committee chairman following the political bureau meeting.
Following UMNO’s crushing defeat, there was a massive outpouring of support for Zahid to resign from his position.
Surprisingly, at this time, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob chose to remain silent. Perhaps he is one of those involved in the talks. What is certain is that the Federal government has almost probably been formed, and Anwar has failed to become Prime Minister for the second time. Zahid, too, was unable to maintain the same position.
All parties engaged are now focused on ensuring that this new coalition government remains stable and always puts the people first as well as preparing for the expected economic turmoil in the coming year.
Perhaps it’s time for Sarawak to have a Deputy Prime Minister to represent the Borneo bloc.
Let Abang Johari and Hajiji negotiate on the appointment formula.