Monday, March 12, 2018

Checkmate Sarawak and (soon) Sabah

UPDATES, 13 March:
With Sabah safe in the bank, can Mahathir still topple Najib?
by A Voice says "Most Semenanjung voters are not aware of the relevance of Sabah and Sarawak for the general election. Without these two block of seats, the chances of toppling BN by "Pakatan DAP" will be of low probability."

original article:
The establishment of Petros, the Sarawak state oil and gas exploration firm, caught many by surprise. An industry player asked over dinner last week what PM Najib Razak was up to and how Petroleum Sarawak Berhad would affect how business is done. Nobody could come up with sure answers.

What's certain is that industry players aren't the only ones paying close attention. Politicians gearing up for the 14th general election are on their feet. Political mouthpieces in the Opposition have gone out to suggest that this was PM Najib Razak's election gimmick. But at the rate Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg is gloating h e r e, we can safely rule it out as an empty promise by the Federal Government.

And now Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has made a public announcement to his fellow Sabahans that they are poised for good news from the Prime Minister. News with regards to Sabah's long-standing claims with Putrajaya. Anifah trying out some general election gimmick? Not likely. The Kimanis MP says he would quit Umno if Najib does not deliver. And Anifah percaya Najib tuna janji.

Sabah and Sarawak have long been regarded as the ruling coalition's "fixed deposit" but one the Opposition led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been hoping could be shaken by pitting Putrajaya against the locals over long-standing sensitive claims involving the two states. But with Petros and the likely 40% minimum guarantee for Sabah, things are suddenly looking tough for Pakatan Harapan in Sabah and Sarawak.

And it'll be tougher very quickly if the PM decides to pick a Sabahan or a Sarawakian as Malaysia's 2nd Deputy Prime Minister after the GE. The Opposition has always been talking about a Chinese as second DPM. 

A Sabahan, or a Sarawakian, would be more deserving for that post, if you ask me.

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