Opposition’s multi-cornered fights a big mess


UKM political scientist says Pakatan Harapan leaders at the state and national levels have failed to see the bigger picture in Sarawak.

(FMT) – The multi-cornered fights between Pakatan Harapan partners DAP and PKR in the upcoming Sarawak election has been described as a big mess.

Commenting on the multi-cornered fights in Mambong, Batu Kitang, Simanggang, Ngemah, Murum and Mulu, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political scientist Faisal S Hazis said both state and national Opposition leaders had failed to see the bigger picture in Sarawak.

He said this meant prioritising being a viable Opposition, rather than just defending seats or expanding.

“This shows the disconnect between state and national Pakatan Harapan leaders,” he said, noting however that despite the bickering over seats which had gone on for some time, it was a “miracle” that the parties could come up with an electoral pact.

Faisal said that while the infighting would make it an uphill battle in the overlapping areas for the Opposition, it did not mean that the Barisan Nasional (BN) would win as a result.

“The other dynamic that must be taken into account is the infighting within the BN and pro-BN splinter parties in areas where they are feuding,” he said in reference to the SUPP-UPP and SPDP-Teras feuds.

Faisal said at the Batu Kawah nominations, UPP’s former branch chairman Liu Thian Leong, who will stand as an independent candidate, brought more supporters to the nomination centre today than SUPP president Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian or DAP’s incumbent, Christina Chiew.

He also said that the independent candidates in Batu Kitang and Bawang Assan were allegedly linked to PBB.

The DAP and PKR will participate in multi-cornered fights despite the Pakatan Harapan Agreement which among others, aims to ensure straight fights against the BN in any election.

Last week, it was reported that DAP may renege on seat agreements if PKR did the same, with Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen calling on PKR to honour what had been agreed earlier.

On Sunday, Chong reiterated that DAP would contest the Batu Kitang seat given to PKR if the party tried to contest in five other seats where DAP had announced their candidates, namely Tasik Biru, Mambong, Simanggang, Bukit Semuja and Mulu.

Prior to this, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian had voiced his dissatisfaction that national DAP and PKR leaders, namely DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng and PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali, had strayed from the seat allocations agreed to by the Sarawak DAP and PKR chapters.