KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will make a clean sweep of all Bidayuh parliamentary seats in the coming 15th General Election (GE15), including Mas Gading and Puncak Borneo, which are currently held by the opposition parties.
Political scientist of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Professor Datuk Dr Jayum Jawan said this was based on the empirical evidence and election performance of the state ruling coalition in the 12th Sarawak election in December last year; where GPS had won all the eight Bidayuh-majority state seats.
“I would further suggest that GPS was on its way to reclaim its political dominant that was once the domain of its predecessor, the Barisan Nasional (BN) Sarawak, both under the leadership of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB),” he told New Sarawak Tribune.
He was commenting on Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s recent statement that GPS wants a clean sweep of all the three Bidayuh parliamentary seats in GE15, namely Mas Gading, Puncak Borneo and Serian. Out of the three, only Serian is currently held by GPS.
Jayum, who is also the Fellow of Academy of Science Malaysia, said GPS had a resounding endorsement and almost wiped out its opponents, including DAP that was badly beaten by the resurgence of Chinese support for Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and GPS.
Apart from the Chinese-majority areas, SUPP’s new face Billy Sujang had successfully wrested back Opar from the opposition in the last state polls.
Therefore, it would be no surprise for GPS to win Mas Gading, which was currently held by DAP Member of Parliament (MP) Mordi Bimol as his party’s support was in decline among urban Chinese in Malaya and in Sarawak state election. Many had decided to abandon DAP.
As for Puncak Borneo, Jayum said, its MP Datuk Willie Mongin was unlikely to stand a chance to defend his seat unless he resigns from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
“Bersatu will not field any candidate or contest in Sarawak if they wish to maintain the good relations with GPS and to be in the same coalition at the federal level as partners. Besides, Willie is too insignificant to risk the good working relations between Federal and GPS governments,” he said.
In December last year, Bersatu had also decided to sit out of the state polls and did not defend its Krian seat. They gave way and supported GPS in the state election as to respect the good relations that Bersatu and GPS enjoyed.
Jayum said Willie would have to resign from Bersatu to contest as an independent to be able to try to defend his seat. However, this path would be tough as he needs the machinery available through a political party to help him campaign.
Although Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) has opened its doors to Willie, which could be his last option to try to use whatever little machinery the party has in Puncak Borneo, he would not make it through either.
“PBDSB is like a sunken Titanic that is raised and is now a little shadow of its former self,” the political scientist said.
Willie won Puncak Borneo under PKR ticket in 2018, however, had quit the party to join Bersatu in 2020. As an incumbent and one-term MP, he had expressed his intention to defend his seat on numerous occasions.
In April, PBB deputy president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas also made it clear that Puncak Borneo is a PBB seat, and the party will field a candidate for the seat in GE15. He also said the party would not compromise in fielding a candidate for the seat, a Bidayuh majority semi-rural constituency.
On the whole, Jayum believed GPS would be able to ride with the tide in the coming parliamentary elections in Sarawak.
GPS, he said, had won a landslide in state polls last year, hence, the coalition would be able to command in the coming parliamentary elections in Sarawak.
“The parliamentary result in Sarawak will complement what GPS and PBB attained in the state election and this will (definitely) be a further endorsement of Abang Johari’s leadership of multi-ethnic Sarawak,” he said.
“Abang Johari is carving his own path that could have been inspired by the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s all ethnic-approach and his background and experience on multi-ethnicity,” he added.