PETALING JAYA: An alliance between Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Pakatan Harapan after the 15th general election (GE15) is unlikely, say analysts.
Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara and Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said working with Borneo parties is not an uncommon strategy as coalitions from the Peninsula want to form the government.
“GPS stands to win the most number of seats, about 27 or 28, making them the ideal ally not just for PH but for Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional too,” Azmi told FMT.
However, he said the bad blood between GPS and PH may prevent an alliance from being formed, especially after PH cancelled many projects in Sarawak during its 22 months in power.
Azmi said cooperation between PH and other parties from the east like Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Warisan is possible, but it would be “very difficult”.
He was referring to the animosity between Warisan president Shafie Apdal and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, who have had a long-standing feud about the opposition’s choice for the prime minister candidacy.
Yesterday, PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli said PH is open to cooperating with the coalitions in Sabah and Sarawak to form the government after the polls on Nov 19.
Rafizi stressed that the coalition would not work with BN and PN if it failed to obtain a simple majority to form the government.
Meanwhile, Jeniri said the coalitions in Sabah and Sarawak would be the deciding factor on who would make up the government.
“And GPS would be more comfortable working with BN or PN, especially BN, since both coalitions have a good rapport with one another. But then again, anything can happen,” he said.
James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute said the Borneo parties will align themselves with whoever wins the majority in the Peninsula.
“So, if PH wins, then Sabah and Sarawak will gladly join them. But the problem is whether PH can win the majority in the first place,” he said.
As for working with Warisan, Chin said it should not be an issue, noting that BN’s component parties, MCA and MIC, which represent non-Muslims and non-Malays, were still able to work with PAS in the Cabinet.
“They can serve in the same Cabinet. If they can, why not Warisan and PH?” he said.