Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today said that the state would not have had a voice if Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) had remained in Barisan Nasional (BN), a day after the latter emerged victorious in the Melaka state election.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony in Kuching, Abang Johari said Sarawak leaders had had no choice but to comply with all orders from the federal government during their time under BN rule.
“The political crisis at the federal level caused us to leave BN,” he said.
“With BN’s basic principle that any decision must be agreed on by consensus, there was no space for us to bring up issues or to go against something we did not agree with.
“That’s why we decided to quit BN. We can now speak out on any issue. We can take care of our state. Who else would know Sarawak better than us? No one can stop us, no one can say no to us. We will continue to fight for Sarawak’s rights.”
GPS, comprising Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, the Progressive Democratic Party and the Sarawak United People’s Party, was formed following BN’s shock defeat at the 2018 general election.
On the results of the Melaka election yesterday, Abang Johari said a clear message had been sent to political leaders.
“Firstly, the people reject ‘frogs’. Secondly, the people want a stable government to focus on solving the econmic and health problems.”
He also spoke of an “empty” party, believed to be a reference to PKR which lost in all of the seats it contested.
“But come to Sarawak too,” he added. “So we have to learn from this lesson.”
His comments follow a meeting by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim with party leaders and supporters in Sarawak yesterday.
At the Melaka state election, BN had won 21 of the 28 seats in the legislative assembly. Umno won 18 seats, MCA two and MIC one.
Pakatan Harapan meanwhile won five seats, four of which were won by DAP out of the eight which the party had contested.
Perikatan Nasional won two seats.