Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will play a role as a pillar party in the Federal government.
That was the assertion by newly-minted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Nov 26, after receiving a visit from the coalition’s chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Abang Johari went to Anwar’s residence accompanied by Satok assemblyman, Datuk Ibrahim Baki and his senior private secretary, Datuk Khir Busrah.
Also present during the meeting were UMNO president, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PKR secretary general, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
The GPS had contested the 15th general election (GE15) as an independent entity, not affiliated to any other coalitions from the Peninsula.
Thus it is not bound to any party or coalitions to join the government, or choose to become an opposition.
The adoption of GPS as part of the government is however important, because the coalition won 23 parliamentary seats during the general election.
This makes GPS one of the strongest and most stable parties at the moment – both at the state and federal levels.
Thus the participation of GPS in the government will contribute to the stability and strength of politics since no party had emerged dominant with simple majority.
With GPS in the Unity government, this means there is only one opposition member of parliament, namely Datuk Ali Biju, who won under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) ticket in Saratok.
Datuk Larry Sng who won in Julau under Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) ticket, has also agreed to support the new government.
It is understood that the cabinet formation process is currently underway, and as a pillar party, many MPs from Sarawak, especially those who have more than three terms of experience, would have the opportunity to be offered ministerial positions.
In fact, it is almost certain that, for the first time in history, Sarawak will receive a Deputy Prime Minister post in the government, with Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, the Petra Jaya MP, being mentioned as the most likely candidate.
There are political scientists, analysts and observers who construe this Unity government as shaky, because its main party – Pakatan Harapan – does not have the strength under its base.
At any time, any party can change its position, and change its support, to the extent that it can affect the composition of the government.
But that is the reality of Malaysian politics since 2018. Its strength depends on the coalition support. If the support ends, then most likely, the Prime Minister will also have to leave.
Therefore, as the most senior MP who has been through various crises and political waves, Anwar is definitely aware of this fact.
And make the 22 months of previous PH administration a big lesson.
He will definitely not repeat the mistakes of the past and ensure that this unity cabinet is intact, inclusive and satisfying to all its stakeholders, including the people.
For that, it is important for all parties to focus on efforts to develop and strengthen the country. Stop the gloom, polemic and politicking that never seem to end.
All parties need to be big-hearted, accept the reality that the government has been established, and its operation needs to run smoothly.
Anwar also needs to prove that he is a principled leader and not meddling on all on-going judiciary and court matters.
Only with this, can he gain the trust of the people – walk the talk, do not be rhetorical and make sweet promises.
Most importantly, this is the time for him to provide a solution to the drop in oil prices, one of his campaign promises that is constantly repeated on social media platforms.
We hope that the cabinet that will be announced, maybe within the next 48 hours, will not be one that is only to please the parties involved.
It must be a cabinet that can create good teamwork, is respected and has the ability to move Malaysia in the desired direction.
It also should not only comprise politicians, but should include experts from various fields, including technocrats and economists.
The world is expected to face two major disasters in the near future – world climate change and economic decline.
Therefore, the formation of a unity cabinet should take this factor into account.
The six-point meeting of the three main parties of the Unity government, which were originally political rivals, is believed to breathe new life into the country’s politics.
All parties need to be generous and try to complement each other for the sake of the country.