Sarawak DAP man: Why no East Malaysians in PH presidential council?

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PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak DAP politician has questioned the lack of Sabah and Sarawak representatives in the purported Pakatan Harapan presidential council line-up.

Earlier this week, The Malaysian Insight, quoting sources, listed the line-up, led by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as chairman.

According to the article, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be the adviser, while Mohamad Sabu and Muhyiddin Yassin, who head Amanah and PPBM respectively, and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, will be vice-chairmen.

Another 14 leaders purportedly make up the rest of the council, but none are from East Malaysia.

“Pakatan Harapan presidential council but without any Sabah and Sarawak reps? What do you think?” DAP’s Abdul Aziz Isa asked in a Facebook post.

Seen by many as a rising star in Sarawak DAP, Abdul Aziz is the special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

“A new party that has just formed in less than a year was given 5 reps. But Sabah and Sarawak that have formed Malaysia for the past 54 years were left without any reps (sic),” he continued, referring to PPBM, which only officially joined Pakatan Harapan this year.

“Funny, right? Even if this is still under suggestion, where is Sabah and Sarawak reps? I wonder…”

Yesterday, PPBM strategist Rais Hussin told Malaysiakini that the PH presidential council list was still in the pipeline and would be finalised in two weeks.

Despite a long-standing presence in Sabah and Sarawak, the federal opposition has not been able to pose any serious threat to Barisan Nasional in either state, with only DAP and PKR achieving notable success, and that, too, in mostly urban seats.

In the run-up to the Sarawak election last year, ties between DAP and PKR were tested when some state-based politicians voiced unhappiness over seat allocations negotiated by national party leaders.

Disagreements over seats led to multi-cornered fights in six state assembly seats: Batu Kitang, Mulu, Murum, Simanggang, Ngemah and Mambong. All six were won by Barisan Nasional.