Amirul Ruslan Profile picture
May 11, 2018 19 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A senior PBB leader says S'wak BN had a contingency plan to leave BN anyway. This would be huge: losing just PBB alone makes BN shrink by 13 seats. PRS is the next biggest parliamentary component in BN, with 3 seats. That would make MIC the 2nd biggest party in BN, with 2 seats.
A Semenanjung parties only BN would only have 60 seats, 55 (91%) from Umno. Barisan Nasional would be Barisan Melayu Bersama Tiga Orang Bukan Melayu. BN may as well collapse.
A total loss of Sabah & Sarawak parties would be a crippling blow to BN. Umno hardliners would be pressed to embrace Pas (which may now not want to), and a 1-race only coalition may struggle to compete nationally again. Umno’s chances dead without at least some % non-Malay vote.
It would literally cost PBB nothing to do this. It guarantees autonomy + PBB wins at next state polls (c. 2021), wins massive national goodwill. May even silence or at least reduce criticism/exposes by SarawakReport on Taib family misdeeds. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.
In Taib, Mahathir sees possibly his only equal. A wily politician who's brushed off every single scandal, dictated to prime ministers, boldly (some would say arrogantly) charted own course. Taib may be nicely retired as Gabenor, but his fingerprints in PBB still found everywhere.
Ethically I am troubled by this — but not much. Sarawak benefits from being a government state. Sarawak’s parties detest Umno rule-from-afar. PBB props BN up even when Umno acts like it’s the Umno-MCA-MIC game from 1957 still. Absolutely no reason for PBB to stick with BN.
Sarawak socialites, beneficiaries of the Taib regime, control the KL social scene. Open any Tatler: you’ll see Taibs and Geneids at every event. It’s going to be in their interest to minimize risk to them, in a post-BN world where 1MDB and corruption WILL be investigated.
Sarawak CM Abang Jo doesn’t inspire the same respect or regard that his successor, the late Adenan Satem, has — but flipping to PH will boost his popularity immensely. He is (was?) close to Najib, but you could have said the same about Muhyiddin or Shafie.
A BN without a Sarawak party (hell, a BN w/out PBB alone) is dead. Umno has no divisions in Sarawak, thanks to Taib-era politics… impossible for them to compete against PBB and/or PH in less than 3 years. Organizing a party, recruiting leaders, going into heartland, impossible.
The next Sarawak state election, held by 2021, will, along with federal and state by-elections, be seen as referenda on PH performance. A BN that cannot compete in the Sarawak election is a BN that cannot compete in GE15. Like I’ve repeatedly said: BN is dead.
Umno hardliners — who at present I believe will now take over the party this year — will signal BN’s doom by further ignoring the importance of Sabah/Sarawak by marrying party’s fate with Pas. Pushing ‘Melayu Tergugat’ narrative is literally the only thing they know.
When it comes to Sarawak, part of Najib’s finesse was his personal ties to S'wak leaders. I have not observed personal or familial closeness between Sarawak dynasties & cronies (usually from dynasties anyway) and Zahid, let alone prospective hard-right leaders like Ismail Sabri.
What’s the best move for Sarawak? I think it’s in the benefit of PBB and even the people of Sarawak to jump to PH. There’s a limited window for this: wait any longer and the people will see them as traitors and frogs, rather than caught up in the Gelombang Harapan.
After all, why stay in a BN that may start making improved entreaties to Hadi and the Terengganu-Kelantan gang ASAP? Sarawak hates Pas and the politics of religious extremism. Sarawak leads the way when it comes to racial tolerance, this may be their chance to stamp their mark.
The national Tsunami Rakyat of 2018 shows how outdated racialist and religious-exclusionary politics of old are — which is not to say they’re irrelevant. Umno and Pas will continue to press that button, unless they learn their lesson. What we have to do is break this wheel.
So BN is dead and turns out it was a wise idea Umno turned their big birthday celebration at PWTC into a tahlil.
In a tweet convo w/ @AmritaMalhi two days before #GE14 we touched on possibility of PH+Warisan+Sarawak holding Parlimen 2/3rds majority. Can't stress this enough: PBB flipping to PH is the biggest compositional change to Malaysian politics since Reformasi:
CORRECTION: his *predecessor*, the late Adenan Satem

Obviously Adenan did not succeed Abang Jo.

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