Dapsters have been arguing that the DAP political side should rule Sabah because Shafie Apdal leads the state’s biggest single party.
In the Sabah 2020 election, Shafie’s party Warisan won 23 seats. With its partners’ – DAP (6), PKR (2), Upko (1) – contribution of nine seats, Warisan-Plus has a total of 32 seats.
The opposite side – Umno (14), Bersatu (11), PBS (7), STAR (6) – now has 41 seats after having coopted three independents. They’re all loosely bundled under the ad hoc Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).
By insisting that Shafie gets first dibs to try and form the Sabah government (and here it can be remembered that the YDP has the power to additionally appoint up to a maximum of six non-elected Aduns), Dapsters are in effect saying that a victory-by-coalition on polling day counts for nothing.
In fact, Dapsters are all eager to nominate the presumptive six non-elected Aduns to boost Warisan Plus’ numbers shortfall.
By the same token, let’s take this Dapster logic and apply it to the federal scenario.
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DAP presently largest party in parliament
As the Dewan Rakyat stands today, DAP is the biggest single party with 42 MPs.
The second largest individual party in parliament is Umno with its current 39 MPs.
PKR comes third with 38 MPs and in fourth place is Bersatu with 31 MPs.
Using the ‘Shafie-gets-first-try’ rationale that the opposition wants to impose on Sabah, then it will be DAP that will be given first shot at attempting to replace the Muhyiddin administration should his national government fall.
Both coalitions that stood the 2018 general election have imploded. Harapan lost its ruling party and the premiership along with Bersatu’s exit. Azmin also took a huge chunk of PKR together with him out of Harapan.
Pre-GE14, the BN had thirteen components; post GE-14, BN is left with four parties — Umno, MCA, MIC and PBRS. The Harapan coalition and the old BN coalition that fought each other in the 2018 election are no longer what they once were.
Hence in the aftermath of the two disintegrating coalitions, the “Survival of the Fittest” ethos that Dapsters are promoting for Sabah sits well with an emerging political idea of One Party to Rule Them All.
Dapsters are quite okay with the idea of Warisan-Plus enticing frogs as long as their side becomes the next Sabah government. They will be equally fine with the idea of DAP enticing frogs from anywhere as long as their side can retake Putrajaya.
No change in level of Chinese support for DAP
Mahathir is correct when he complains that the Malay vote is split, with himself aggravating the problem by injecting Pejuang into the fray and not to mention his protege’s kacau daun Muda party. The Muslim vote is split too with Amanah having splintered from PAS.
In contrast to the fragmented Malay vote, the Chinese vote is consolidated unbudgingly around DAP.
94 percent of the Chinese voted for DAP and its allies in Sabah 2020, according to an analysis by Bridget Welsh. Only four percent Chinese voted for GRS with the remaining one percent opting for the smaller parties and independents.
In the 29 months since the last general election, DAP has not lost a single MP. Its cohort of 42 remains wholly intact.
The headcount in the second biggest party Umno, on the other hand, has dropped from 54 MPs on polling night to its now 39 MPs. And in the present instance, Umno’s 39 MPs are further divided into various camps.
So we have in the red corner of the ring (1) a DAP with all its MPs toeing the party line, and in the blue corner (2) an Umno that lacks internal cohesion and party direction.