KUCHING (Aug 26): Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg might be having sleepless nights if a deputy prime minister (DPM) post is allocated to a Sarawakian MP, opined a political analyst.
Political scientist Prof Dr Jayum Jawan claimed that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would be ‘destabilised’ if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was to offer the post to the state coalition.
“Who should be recommended to take up the position? A Dayak MP from PBB or a Malay/ Melanau (MM) from the same party?
“Either decision will rock the party and may perhaps cost YAB CM Abang Johari his leadership of the PBB. Give it to the Dayak, his presidency will end at the next PBB convention.
“Give it to the MM, he will sustain his leadership but the party will suffer at the next state election as Dayaks and especially Ibans will abandon PBB due to his unfairness and perceived greed at monopolising the position of Governor, Chief Minister and just about everything else,” said Jayum when asked yesterday if it was timely and apt for the Deputy Prime Minister post to be allocated to Sarawak.
He said this was just one of two possible political implications if the post is taken by GPS, in which Abang Johari is the chairman.
The other possible implication if the DPM post is taken by GPS, is that smaller parties within the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition would have a good reason to rock the boat and pressure Ismail Sabri.
“Ismail Sabri’s leadership will be rocked by further jostling for position as some parties with more legislative seats would stake a claim that they are more deserving of such position (DPM),” Jayum claimed.
In the meantime, Malaysians are eagerly waiting for Ismail Sabri’s list of Cabinet members.
It was claimed that it would be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for His Majesty’s endorsement yesterday but sources said the presentation had been postponed to today.
It is not clear if the postponement was made amid reports of intense pressure by politicians from Umno and Bersatu jostling for posts, or due to Ismail Sabri meeting with Opposition leaders led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon.
Ismail Sabri is leading a new government with majority of 114 MPs in Parliament. The simple majority is 111.
There have been calls made over the past few days by GPS members for the DPM post to be allocated to Sarawak, among them by state Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and leaders of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
PRS in particular proposed that Kapit MP and GPS secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi be given the post, while others within GPS had suggested Petra Jaya MP and GPS chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
On his part, Nanta, who is former Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, said a Rural and Regional Development Minister post would be more apt for any Sarawakian MP as funds from such a ministry would be more useful for the state.