gps returns to power in sarawak state polls with 42 seats so far - GPS returns to power in Sarawak state polls with 42 seats so far

KUALA LUMPUR – Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has won 42 seats in the Sarawak polls as at 7.35pm on Saturday (Dec 18), granting it a simple majority to again form the next state government, according to national news agency Bernama.

A total of 42 seats of the 82-seat Sarawak state assembly is needed for a simple majority and 55 seats are needed for a two-thirds majority.

The GPS coalition has enjoyed a two-thirds supermajority in Malaysia’s largest state legislature for over three decades. It held 67 of the 82 state seats before the assembly was dissolved earlier this year.

GPS also has 18 MPs who form part of Malaysia’s federal government.

The state assembly’s five-year term expired in June, but the election was postponed following a localised emergency due to Covid-19 concerns.

The emergency was lifted in November to allow the election to take place.

Sarawak is Malaysia’s third-largest economy, but also has the third-highest poverty rate in the country, leading to opposition politicians calling it a “rich state with poor people”.

As at 4pm today, only 55 per cent of the 1.25 million eligible voters had turned out to cast their ballot, possibly due to heavy rain in many places across the state.

The Election Commission had earlier targeted a 70 per cent turnout.