Game over for the termites of Sarawak politics

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari’s ‘termite’ statement has had so many Sarawakians excited.

Since that speech in Marudi, numerous comments and views have come forth, and as always, mostly in the social media.

Many are of the opinion that the ‘termites’ refer to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) while not a few think the chief minister was referring to some people in his own coalition.

Let’s look closely at some excerpts of the chief minister’s ‘termite’ statement again.

“…hari ini saya nak tegaskan bahawa kita ingin mempertahankan GPS dan komponen GPS.

“Kita tidak mahu ada anai anai dalam GPS…

“If you have termites the whole house will fall down. The moment the house falls that means it’s the end of us….

“Saya beri priority kepada GPS kerana ini lah untuk masa depan kita.

Kita tidak boleh mengatakan “Oh, I support Abang Jo but at the same time you try to laga-laga dalam GPS. We cannot tolerate that.”

Let’s try to put all those in English:

“…today let me stress we want to defend GPS and its components.

“We don’t want termites in GPS.

“If you have termites the whole house will fall down. The moment the house falls that means it’s the end of us….

“I give priority to GPS because it is for our future.

“We cannot say ‘Oh, I support Abang Jo but at the same time you try to instigate within GPS’. We cannot tolerate that.”

What about that? Isn’t it clear who the “termites” are?

One thing revealing about the chief minister’s Marudi speech is, if we have not known him well enough to understand the man and his politics, that speech sure tells a lot about the importance of party over self, of loyalty to party struggle and of putting aside differences and to continue to work as a team player.

From Abang Johari, who at one time was a man on his way up the party ladder but put into political hibernation of sorts, the lesson on party loyalty is strong indication as to the future of party hoppers and those who had worked against GPS in GE14.

Really, PRS vice president Datuk Masir Kujat should not have jumped ship. Unfortunately, he has none of the attributes of the chief minister – party loyalty, patience and a team-player.

And PSB should not have pinched Masir and then said it was strengthening GPS. Who would believe that? Who would believe that termites in the woodworks were reinforcing the foundation of a house?

If PSB had genuinely wanted to strengthen GPS, it should have applied to join the coalition instead of chipping away at the timbers by luring members, former members included, of parties like PRS, SUPP and PDP while making sure it did not step on the toes of big brother PBB so that it could continue to say “I support Abang Jo” and hoped that the chief minister would fall for that same old trick it played on BN the last time.

More than 40 years in politics, when you have eyes that see, ears that hear and brains that don’t make hare-brained decisions, the chief minister surely knows ‘Oh, I support Abang Jo but at the same time you try to instigate within GPS’ when he sees one.

If PSB had really wanted to work with GPS to strengthen the state government, accepting these party hoppers is a bad mistake. These party hoppers will ask to contest in seats now held by members of PRS, SUPP and PDP come the next state polls. Doesn’t PSB foresee this problem?

But, of course, PSB knows this. It also knows this is not its problem but that it is going to be Abang Johari and GPS’ problem.

So I say PSB’s “I support Abang Jo” pledges have been superficial. The party had other ideas, one of which is to heap more problems on GPS to weaken it.

Now, what next? It’s time to get rid of the ‘termites’, of course.

Many want a reshuffle of the state Cabinet to exclude PSB.

The chief minister was asked if or when, and it was rightly pointed out by some members of the media that if there isn’t going to be a reshuffle, the chief minister sure would have replied with a flat ‘No’ as he did when asked sometime back if there was going to be a snap election.

The question if there is going to be a state Cabinet reshuffle wasn’t thrown to him once or twice but three times, and the chief minister did not say ‘No’.

Sarawakians are excited.