KUCHING: It is anybody’s guess if Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin who has just been accepted as a PBB member will be nominated to contest the seat for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the forthcoming 15th General Election.
Political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Novel Lyndon feels the jury is still out there as many factors are in play when it comes to this question.
He said Willie who won the seat on a PKR ticket but ditched the party thereafter for Bersatu must have realised Bersatu is weak at the grassroots level.
Also, there was no guarantee that Bersatu would field him in GE15, thus prompting him to apply to join PBB, the main component of the GPS coalition led by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Novel said Willie’s move to join PBB was ostensibly to ensure he would be able to contest under a strong and stable party.
But will PBB field him? The academic from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities feels this is where it gets interesting.
“Abang Johari will of course have the the final word as to who is eligible to be a GPS candidate in GE15,” he told New Sarawak Tribune.
Truth be told GPS, he said, must be delighted because they now have an opportunity to bag another seat and increase the number of parliamentarians in the Dewan Rakyat.
“An increase in GPS MPs will have many advantages for Sarawak in ensuring their voices, demands and requests can be met by the federal government.”
But Novel posed two questions that arise with Willie’s acceptance into PBB.
“Firstly, what are the chances that he will be chosen as a candidate in GE15 given that he has just become a party member?,” he questioned.
Based on PBB’s constitution, a member cannot be a candidate in any general election or by-election if he has not been a member for three years unless decided otherwise by the Supreme Council.
“And if he becomes a candidate, is he a winnable candidate?”
He also wondered how PBB members at the grassroots level, local community leaders, Undi18 voters, the three state constituency members in Serembu, Mambong and Tarat and the local community of Puncak Borneo will react to Willie standing on a PBB ticket.
“He won in GE14 on a PKR ticket and surely the voters who voted for him at that time will feel betrayed and angry.
“The anti-hopping bill arose due to the attitude of the voters who were angry because the mandate they had given to elected parliamentarians had been betrayed.
“At the same time, what about the response of other PBB candidates who have been eyeing to be candidates? Can they accept Willie as a candidate?”, Novel asked.
According to him the only certain thing at the moment is that Willie has his work cut out for him ahead of the election.
He has to work hard to serve his constituents, regardless of political ideology, ethnicity or religion and also frequently go to the field if he wants to be a candidate, he said.