BINTULU: The government of the day can fall in an election despite having access to considerable resources if it fails to address the anger of the people, said Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

He said this was evident in the just-concluded Sabah state election where the Warisan-led government was unable to quell the strong anger of rural voters towards issues such as the state of the economy and illegal immigrants, which played into the hands of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).

He added that although the political scenario in Sabah and Sarawak is not entirely similar, there was definitely a lesson which could be learned from Sabah.

Datuk Talib Zulpilip

“Anger towards GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) is there and this is normal, but the intensity is a lot less.

“With respect to the (Warisan) leadership, honestly we can claim there is no indication that the same level of anger is levelled at Sarawak’s top leaders. The Sarawak Chief Minister in his own quiet way is firmly in charge.

“Politically speaking, GPS is definitely not a loose coalition. In addition the Sarawak state government has gone all out to develop the rural areas,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

The Jepak assemblyman said water, electricity, and rural roads are being provided and the state government has gone all out to deal with Covid-19 while also providing assistance to the people.

“So the Sarawak parties could learn something from Sabah. But they must also realise the situations are not overly similar,” he added.

On the results of the Sabah election, Talib said it showed the dynamism and fluidity of politics in the north Borneo state.

“Anyone who has followed Sabah politics would remember the fall of the incumbent

Berjaya government of Harris Salleh to Joseph Pairin Kitingan’s Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in 1985.

“PBS was only formed 47 days prior to polling and this shows the fluidity of politics in Sabah.”

On what contributed to GRS’ victory in the just-concluded Sabah polls, Talib said there were a number of factors including the decision not to field former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman who was key in triggering the snap election.

“GRS had somewhat dampened the people’s anger by not fielding Musa Aman. Would GRS have lost votes if Musa was fielded? An interesting question.

“Whatever it is, Musa being left out had blunted one source of anger towards GRS,” he said.