Malaysia is in the middle of a whirlpool of problems and that means the PH federal government has its hands full.
From the outside, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is worried about threats of trade sanctions. The US-China tariff war has Malaysia trapped in the middle while powerful European countries continue to campaign against Malaysia’s agricultural mainstay, palm oil.
Malaysia’s palm oil export is also becoming a major issue with India due to a diplomatic row over comments made by the prime minister on New Delhi’s recent actions in Kashmir. India is the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil.
At home, Dr Mahathir’s PH government is struggling with a major trust deficit.
First, the many policy U-turns, then the suspicion and mistrusts the PH leaders have for each other.
Allegations of bids to dismantle the PH government to be replaced with a new government without DAP and Amanah all point to distrust. Undoubtedly, that was directed against the prime minister and his party Bersatu, which is not surprising given that much of the machination within PH is about two forces at play.
The fact is the parties of the ruling coalition just don’t trust each other.
Every party in PH wants someone or a component out. They either say it out loud or they get people from outside their coalition to do their dirty work for them. That’s why we have issues like the Malay Dignity Congress, LTTE and comic books suddenly taking the spotlight.
Earlier we were served the so-called Penang Undersea Tunnel corruption scandal, Zakir Naik and the same-sex scandal. All these issues make prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s wait even longer and look less certain.
Of course, Anwar is not taking things lying down. He wants the premiership badly, and he wants it according to ‘the agreement’.
But what’s going to happen if the agreement is not complied with?
I very much doubt Sarawakians care at all if the agreement is complied with or not, or if Anwar becomes PM or not.
To me whether it’s Dr Mahathir or Anwar or Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali or Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Sarawak will still be fighting for its right to be recognised as one of three, not one of the 13 states.
Sarawak will still have to do what it has set out to do without expecting a shot-in-the-arm kind of funding from the federal government. What is given in the 2020 Budget is how Sarawak can expect to be treated by whoever is prime minister of the PH government after Dr Mahathir.
In other words, nothing extraordinary good will come to Sarawak if PH is the central government because Sarawak has no voice in the federal Cabinet. Sarawak’s sole representative in Dr Mahathir’s Cabinet does not speak for Sarawak; he speaks for Pakatan Harapan.
In fact, it is for all Sarawakians to see that every Sarawak PH MP speaks not for Sarawak; they speak for Pakatan Harapan.
Essentially, Sarawak and Sarawakians have no bridge to the PH government. Like it or not, Sarawak today exists in political isolation and it is really up to Sarawakians, especially the GPS state government, to determine our economic and socio-political destiny.
For the long-term, Sarawak has done well to embark on modernising agriculture, transforming the city transportation system, getting involved in both downstream and upstream O&G related activities, starting its own air connectivity, and looking at options and opportunities in all its ports and harbours.
The long-term policies may even include looking for niche buyers for the state’s palm oil and rubber. If we can look for markets for our vegetables and fruits, why shouldn’t we be looking for buyers of our own palm oil and rubber? Why must we go down with Malaya when trade sanctions are directed at federal policies?
For the short-term — short-term meaning between now and the coming state election — Sarawak must get down to serious business right away with the sole aim of winning PRN12.
The PH government is not our friend. There is nothing friendly and cordial about our relationship with parties like Bersatu, DAP, PKR and Amanah whose presence in Sarawak threatens GPS’ continued stranglehold over state politics.
Look at what they are doing to the longhouses, villages and rural communities with their MPKK plans. They want to make Sarawak another Sabah. GPS must stop this from becoming a reality.
Let’s face it. Let’s be honest. GPS must win PRN12. Biar Bekikis Bulu Betis. Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban.
Apa ditakut. Apa dimalu. Sarawak tok kita empun. Let’s keep it that way at all cost.
In the meantime, let’s keep track of political developments in Malaya. If the PH government looks to crumble, get ready to hold PRN12. It will be their weakest moment.