Will Warisan benefit from making an unofficial pact with Pakatan Harapan?

After Shafie Apdal was kicked out from UMNO, he decided to establish his own party known as Sabah Heritage Party (Warisan). Warisan, DAP and PKR have strategized which seats that they will be competing in Sabah for PRU-14. Those three parties have formed an unofficial coalition with the hope of taking over the state government. It was a wise decision for Warisan not to enter the Pakatan Harapan coalition.


First, PH chairman is Mahathir Mohamad. Although the locals supported Sabah UMNO, they dislike Mahathir. It was him that ordered the 1991 Sabah political arrest. He ignored development in Sabah when Malaysia economy was booming. He could have review the 5% oil royalty in Sabah, but he didn’t. It was him that builded the controversial Bakun Dam in Sarawak, disregarding the MA63. Indirectly, it affected Sabah because Mahathir’s decision had shown that he can overwrite MA63. Directly advocating Mahathir to return as the seventh Malaysia Prime Minister will just ruin Warisan opportunity to win any seat.


Second, Amanah voiced their dissatisfaction for being left out in Sabah. It happened for a reason. Amanah was a splinter group of PAS. Based on their track record, PAS was never successful in Sabah. Where else, DAP and PKR have proved that they can secure some seats in Sabah. Besides, freedom of religion is vital in Sabah. At a glance, Amanah seems to be an ideal party for the state because the party promote Islamic modernism. However, Sabahans does not need a political party that specialised in Islamic modernism because religion disharmony is not a big issue over there.


It was reported that out of the 60 state seats in Sabah, Warisan will be contesting for 45 seats, while 7 seats for DAP and 8 seats for PKR. Ideally if they manage to maintained their results from the previous election, they will have 11 seats. They need an additional of 20 seats to win the simple majority.


With the influence of Shafie Apdal, it is not impossible for the him to take over Sabah state government. As proven in history, politicians in Sabah come and go. From USNO to BERJAYA to PBS. An influential political leader can make a swing in the election. But, working with DAP and PKR does limit Warisan winning territory. DAP and PKR are peninsular parties with the objective of bringing down the government. Their primary aim is not about protecting Sabah. Even if they genuinely do, Sabahans in the rural areas have perceived them as outsiders.


Sabahans priorities are on their special rights on lands, resources, language and etc. This is what politicians always emphasized on Sabah special rights which were promised in the Malaysian Agreement Act 1963. Seven out of the top 10 influencers touching on MA63 are from Sabah. None of them were from DAP or PKR.


Warisan making a pact with DAP and PKR made Warisan to be viewed as a proxy for Pakatan Harapan in Sabah. Nevertheless, Warisan did gain advantages from working with those two parties as both DAP and PKR have already won some seats in Sabah during PRU-13. So, will Warisan take over Sabah after PRU-14?