GPS and PBS, the ‘kingmakers’ in Anwar’s quest for power, says analyst

(FMT) – An analyst says Sarawak’s Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Sabah’s PBS will become “kingmakers” in deciding who rules Putrajaya if PKR president Anwar Ibrahim truly has sufficient support to challenge Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s grip on power.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) senior lecturer Lee Kuok Tiung however, voiced doubt over the opposition leader’s claims, as the “true” allegiance of Umno MPs said to be supporting the Port Dickson MP was no secret.

He added that backing Anwar would not help Umno become dominant again as some of its leaders are hoping.

“But, if it happens, GPS and PBS will be the kingmakers because support between Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) is split almost evenly, and GPS and PBS are not part of PN,” Lee told FMT on the current ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said GPS which has 18 seats and PBS which has one seat in the Dewan Rakyat, seem to have reservations about joining PN and prefer being “more independent” in their politics.

On Sept 23, Anwar held a press conference to say that he had a “strong, formidable and convincing majority” in Parliament to form a new government.

He did not reveal the number of MPs backing him, saying he would only do so after having an audience with the King.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi subsequently conceded, that many Umno MPs were supporting Anwar.

Meanwhile, Tony Paridi Bagang of UiTM Sabah said Anwar’s claim has yet to be proven and that the longer he takes to prove it, the less people will believe him.

“With the spike in Covid-19 cases, political issues and power struggles will become less important. The focus will be on the government’s handling of the (Covid-19) situation.”