Dubai Move: Borneo bloc would only shift support under two circumstances

09 Jan 2024 12:04pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

SHAH ALAM - The Borneo bloc consisting of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak will never initiate any movement to topple the existing government, unless the country's political situation forces them to do so.

Former deputy finance minister II Datuk Yamani Hafez Musa said despite rumours of significant support from MPs from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Umno and Parti Warisan (Warisan) in Sabah for the Dubai Move, he believed that the Borneo bloc will remain loyal to the unity government if the support in Peninsular Malaysia remained unchanged.

However, the former Sipitang MP acknowledged the possibility of the Borneo bloc shifting its support to establish a new government if the support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim diminished, especially if Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi led 30 coalition MPs out of the unity government.

"Whether or not the Dubai Move becomes a reality, everything depends on the decision of the Sabah and Sarawak MPs.

"Usually, Sabah MPs will follow the decisions of Sarawak MPs through the understanding of the Borneo bloc. I believe this political bloc will never trigger a movement to overthrow the government based on their own accord.

"Unless the number of MPs' support for the unity government decreases with BN deciding to switch support, the Borneo bloc is not expected to go anywhere and continue to support the existing government," he told Sinar Premium.

He was commenting on the allegations made by Perikatan Nasional (PN) election director Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor that the opposition coalition already had sufficient support of MPs to enable the coalition to take over the administration of the country.

However, the Kedah Menteri Besar refused to explain the matter in detail, including on the statutory declaration (SD).

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Meanwhile, Yamani said any decision made by the Borneo bloc in determining the country's political direction was solely based on the interests of the two states.

He said to ensure the economic sustainability and development of Sabah and Sarawak, the Borneo bloc must decide to remain in the federal government bloc regardless of which coalition was in power.

"I just wonder whether the Anti-Party Hopping Act introduced now is sufficient to justify any decision by any MP who violates the party's regulations to declare support for the opposing bloc?.

"If it is true that the Dubai Move allows a group of BN MPs led by former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to violate the party's ruling, do they need to vacate their parliamentary seats?.

"Or can they follow the footsteps of the five Bersatu MPs who expressed support for Anwar without leaving the party? This matter needs to be explained thoroughly," he said.

Despite the question of the effectiveness of the Anti-Hopping Law, Yamani said he was confident that the claims of the Dubai Move was still difficult to realise and the SD's credibility can be questioned by many parties.

"Most importantly, everything needs to be left to the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide whether the SD is credible or not. If Istana Negara does not respond, I think any movement planned will be irrelevant," he added.

Meanwhile, Perak DAP vice-chairman Dr Abdul Aziz Bari insisted that the real cause of the government change movement as hyped by the opposition was due to loopholes in the Anti-Hopping Law enacted last year.

The ambiguity in the amendment to the Federal Constitution regarding the Anti-Hopping Law raised questions about the validity of the SDs in such movements.

"However, in the end it depends on the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong whether to allow the opposition's wish to present the SD that is claimed to be sufficient or to set it aside?

"The most important question is, is PN's claim that they already have a total of 120 SD as stated by Sanusi true? For me, as long as there is no confirmation from the Istana Negara, Sanusi's allegations are just empty speculation," he said.