Can GRS cure political woes of frequent change of government in Sabah ?

KOTA KINABALU: If the success story of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the recent state general election is anything to go by, the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government appears to be on the right track to "cure" the political woes of frequent change of government in the state.


In fact, it is worth noting how GPS has become the Kingmakers in the formation of the federal government after the Sheraton Move and again when Tan Sri Muhyuddin Yassin resigned as Prime Minister as well as the encouraging results of the Sarawak 2021 elections.

Both Sabah and Sarawak have many things in common, especially in terms of fighting to restore the state eroded rights under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).

Perhaps GRS can adopt the GPS model although it may not be able to produce the same output as the GPS'.

The most important concept of the GPS model is unity as a result of tolerance, understanding, honesty and trust which are also fundamental values ​​to the harmony of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.

Many political observers believe that GRS is slowly gaining popular support in Sabah, famously known as The Land Below The Wind.

Some also predict GRS will continue to dominate the state's political arena for a longer period of time, barring any political hitches, particularly in the run-up to the 15th general election.

Sabah's political history shows that ruling political parties did not last long or even "collapsed" after a decade or so in power.

Is GRS capable of providing the much needed 'magic solution' to the protracted political instability in Sabah?

Political analyst Dr Lee Kuok Tiung said GRS paved the way for a new political dimension, focussing more on cooperation and unity among its component parties.

"The launching of GRS here today (Saturday) is a good start towards uniting the major political parties in Sabah," he said.

However, Lee said many are curious to know whether UMNO state leaders, would be present at today's launch of GRS.

The presence of UMNO state leaders will probably be an indicator of the possible cooperation between GRS-UMNO in GE15, he said.

But, it is reliably learnt that Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin might not be present.

Similarly, Lee said it was interesting to see whether leaders of the three other local based parties, namely LDP, PCS and KDM, which had earlier applied to join GRS, would attend the official launching of GRS.

"It is quite impossible for GRS to duplicate a (100%) GPS model but if GRS's intention is to form the Borneo Block with GPS, it will definitely bring greater benefits to Sabah and Sarawak in the future, especially in terms of deregulation, autonomy, Borneonization and fairer wealth distribution, "he said.

Lee said the close relationship between Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor and Sarawak Premier Abang Jo (Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg) should be capitalised on for the common good, especially with regard to the Sabah and Sarawak's rights.

"Sabah and Sarawak have never asked for anything more but simply wanted the eroded rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution to be restored such as Article 112D, MA63 and a more rational and fair distribution of wealth," he said.

The country's political scenario seems to be uncertain for now, slowing down a bit economic growth amid with the rising cost of living.

"To address the issue, it requires political stability or vice versa, if we are busy playing politics all the time, the responsibility towards the people tend to be neglected.

"The secret to the success of a political party alliance is the number of seats it holds for bargaining power. Although GPS only has 18 MPs, the number is bigger and significant than Warisan which has eight MPs," he said.

Therefore, Lee said the goal of forming an alliance of political parties should be focussed on consensus to win as many parliamentary seats as possible in GE15.

"Only with such political power can we get more benefits that the people can enjoy," he said.

Related Articles


Latest Articles