A small, insignificant party PBM will remain

AS Malaysian political parties go, Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) is one of the smaller ones. It has only one parliamentarian from the country’s total of 222 but has been given a fairly decent amount of press coverage, often for the wrong reasons.

From the very beginning, as its original name Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) suggests, the party has been Sarawak-based, but why it had decided to transverse the South China Sea to make its presence known in Peninsular Malaysia is unclear. But it is an adventure, nonetheless.

What is widely known though (in Sarawak, that is), is that the party is hardly able to work together with other parties for long, breaking away from a coalition no less than four times in the past few years.

Earlier last year everything appeared to have worked out well in the peninsula, with former PKR and Bersatu politician Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin helming the party.

But before long, Zuraida found herself in the thick of a leadership tussle with Datuk Larry Sng, son of SWP founder Datuk Sng Chee Hua.

Zuraida was sacked together with several others last October, with Sng insisting that he had never relinquished his position.

A few weeks ago PBM’s Negri Sembilan chapter announced its dissolution and the resignations of the state committee and everyone else due to a loss of faith in Sng, as announced by state chairman Rosman Jonet.

Now we have news that the Selangor chapter has done likewise, with the statement from secretary Ruzaini Sani clearly showing support for Zuraida.

Malaysian politics has always been about race, religion and with the parties in Sarawak and Sabah. It is thus highly unusual and over-ambitious for any party from East Malaysia to make a foray into the peninsula, like what the Sabah-based Warisan did, and got nowhere.

Likewise it is not likely that a peninsula-based party will be able to gain much ground over there. UMNO’s earlier success in Sabah was an exception, especially since it was then so dominant country-wide.

But that too was not without its problems. – Feb 6, 2023


Main pic credit: FMT

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