In my past article, I mentioned that this election phase has five heartbeats: dissolution of parliament, nominations, election date, election results and government formation. This is the phase that voters in Malaysia are discussing and debating on all social media sites.
The results have been tallied, and Pakatan Harapan (PH) has the most seats, followed by Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and WARISAN.
While Malaysia awaits the formation of a new federal government, focus has shifted to the four large blocks of the leading coalition parties.
There have been a number of declarations and social media comments from netizens claiming that PN, BN, and GPS have engaged in negotiations.
In addition to making an official announcement, the GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has agreed to unite with PN, BN and GRS to form the next federal government.
However, the BN chairman, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has stated that there were no consultations or agreements struck with PN over the formation of a coalition government.
PH is said to be pursuing GPS also in its bid to form a new federal government.
The option of GPS uniting with PN, BN and GRS will
produce a total of 131 seats, exceeding the required 112-seat simple majority to form the new federal government.
BN is required in this coalition because PN has only 73 seats, GPS 22 and GRS party six. There is no alternative to including BN in this coalition even though the BN leadership has been frequently controversial in recent years, with the BN chairman himself facing significant resistance.
This option will also call for the coalitions’ existing cohesion to be strengthened around the values of respect and political consensus.
Logic dictates that this GPS option is the only choice available to Sarawak. The explanation for this may be found in the manifesto statement and the letter from the GPS chairman, both of which describe the PH government’s harsh treatment of Sarawak during its 22-month tenure.
PH does not care about the rights and future of Sarawak or the cancellation of projects that impede progress for Sarawakians. The loss of faith and trust in the former PH administration has had a significant impact on GPS.
In the last days of the election campaign, PH has made many promises in order to win the votes of Sarawakians.
This is because the party realises the strength of GPS, which has begun to capture the hearts of Sarawakians with its struggle to reclaim its rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
** Dr Nur Aida Kipli (PhD) is a senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak.
The views expressed here are those of the analyst and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.