Saturday, July 24, 2021

GPS in no mood to give way to peninsular parties

It says it will contest all of its traditional seats although it is open to working with others after the election, with the exception of DAP, PKR and PSB.

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Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the ruling coalition in the state, today said it would not give way to Bersatu, Umno or PAS in the coming general election.

Its information chief Idris Buang said while GPS is on good terms with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal coalition, it would not give way to any of the three peninsula-based parties at either the state or general election.

“Sarawak has to be Sarawak,” he told MalaysiaNow. “They have to respect GPS and our stand that we will go for our traditional seats.

“We don’t want them to disturb us.”

He was responding to the possibility of Bersatu matching Umno if the latter decides to contest all 222 parliamentary seats.

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan had said at the party’s general assembly last weekend that it would not compromise on the distribution of seats with its political allies.

“Umno seats are Umno seats, then, now and forever. They are not to be given away in order to extend a lifeline to any party,” he said.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who leads Bersatu, later said that Umno was welcome to contest all 222 seats if it wanted to.

“But if he takes them all, I too will take all, one to one or one against two… that’s politics,” he said.

GPS, comprising Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) – is widely seen as a kingmaker in federal politics.

Its support, along with that of PAS, was also seen as crucial to the success of the so-called Sheraton Move which saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February 2020.

When asked to comment on Umno’s decision to cut ties with PN in the next polls, Idris, the assemblyman for Muara Tuang, said GPS was open to forming a coalition with others after the general election, with the exception of DAP, PKR and PSB.

He also said the party should not be made subject to peninsula-based parties as it had been under the Barisan Nasional government.

“GPS will go for all of its traditional parliamentary seats. We want to be respected as an independent force and will work with federal government for the best interest of Sarawakians,” he said.

Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin meanwhile said he was open to working with anyone but that he would leave the matter to the GPS leadership to decide.

“Myself, I can work with any state leaders. Actually I am not their competitor, I have come to complement them and work together for the people.

“So I will leave it to them,” Willie, who left PKR after the Sheraton Move, said when questioned at a press conference today.

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