Sunday, November 28

State polls can wait, analyst says nation’s political stability should now be GPS priority

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Prof Dr Jayum Jawan Empaling

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)  should not take advantage of the current political impasse at the federal level to call for a state election, opined political analyst Professor Dr Jayum Jawan Empaling.

He said GPS should instead be focusing on helping to stabilise the federal government, adding that the state election should not be the yardstick for how it manages its support.

“National interest must supersede consideration for the coming state election.

“If the state and its leaders do good by this, that is, help to solve the national political problem, the state is as good as being handed a silver platter,” he said when contacted today.

Dr Jayum believes that it would not be difficult for GPS to be returned with a simple majority whenever it decides to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly.

“There is no real challenge for GPS. GPS’ opponents are not organised. GPS opponents are in disarray and this fiasco even throw them into further chaos,” he said.

Dr Jayum pointed out that the role of Sarawak, as well as Sabah, from the start of its participation in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 has been to provide balance and rationality in safeguarding plural democracy in Malaysia.

“In  fact, Sarawak (and Sabah) has done just that on several occasions, such as during the 1948 Malayan emergency, 1963 in forming Federation of Malaysia, and during the 1969 ethnic riots.

“This time around, there is no doubt that it has also to do the same—to save Malaysia from plunging into one ethnic domination and ensure no extremism in national politics,” he said.

Dr Jayum believes as such, the leaders of GPS have a huge burden on its shoulder, and must therefore exercise that role judiciously and in the best interest of Malaysia.

“Leaders must be bold, set direction and sway public opinion instead of the other way around. That is a leader and leadership that Sarawak needs in the 21st century,” he added.