Once mighty Barisan falls from 13 parties down to three

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 23 Jun 2018

The once invincible BN looks much weaker now. A tank replica at Putatan, Sabah before GE14. - AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

With the announcement that Gerakan is leaving Barisan Nasional, this means that the coalition is down to the original three Alliance members - Umno, MCA and MIC - plus maybe MyPPP.

A power struggle has been ongoing in MyPPP with its president M Kayveas announcing on May 19 that the party was exiting BN.

However, his other supreme council members have disputed this, leaving MyPPP's status within BN in doubt.

Barisan entered the 14th general elections with 13 parties.

The coalition was founded in 1973, after the 1969 general elections saw the then Alliance (of Umno, MCA and MIC) suffering many defeats to the Opposition, followed by the May 13 racial riots.

Then prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein wanted to bring national unity and stability by getting then Opposition parties such as Gerakan, PPP and PAS to join a grand coalition - Barisan Nasional.

But 45 years later, Barisan, led by Razak's son, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, succumbed to its worst defeat ever during GE14.

The first party to leave BN after the defeat was Upko in Sabah, which joined up with Warisan, DAP and PKR to take over the state government.

Within the first week after the elections, three other Barisan parties in Sabah - LDP, PBS and PBRS - all announced they were leaving the coalition.

On June 12, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg announced that PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP would also leave Barisan to form their own state-based Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.

It has also been reported that former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and other Sabah Umno members may be getting ready to form a state-based coalition called Gabungan Bersatu, possibly with PBS.
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