Friday, January 21, 2022

PN, GPS to work together at GE15, says Muhyiddin

He says an understanding was reached at a recent meeting with GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg.

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Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin today said that his bloc would work together with the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition in the next general election.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuching, Muhyiddin said an understanding was reached during a meeting with GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg several weeks ago.

He said the understanding included Bersatu giving way to GPS by not contesting the Sarawak election and GPS in turn working with Bersatu at the 15th general election.

“At the next general election, we will not be competing against each other, but will work with one another,” he said.

“We believe we can help add more parliamentary seats.”

Muhyiddin said Abang Johari had been ready to work with Bersatu when they met at his residence.

“We had an understanding that for the state election, we would support GPS,” he said.

“Abang Johari understands, and he said that for the general election, that’s open. That’s what he said.”

Muhyiddin, who is Bersatu president, said the collaboration would strengthen Sarawak’s position in Parliament.

“Sarawak with its 18 GPS MPs were very supportive of me when I was prime minister,” he said.

“Without them we cannot form the federal government. What we want to do for the future is to further strengthen this with our participation.”

He added that Bersatu had given its word not to contest the Sarawak election.

“So I hope that so-called understanding will be respected.”

He also praised Sarawak Bersatu vice-chairman Ali Biju for withdrawing from the contest for the Krian state seat.

He said Bersatu had kept its word despite strong support from the grassroots urging party leaders to contest the election.

“His actions were noble and honourable,” he said of Ali. “The sacrifice was very significant in respecting the understanding between Abang Johari and I to strengthen cooperation between Bersatu and GPS in Sarawak.

“There is an understanding so that our supporters will not feel disappointed,” he added.

“We have to recognise our members in Sarawak.”

When asked about Ali’s name still appearing on ballots, Muhyiddin said the real contest would only involve the other three candidates fighting for the seat.

He also urged voters in Krian who had been supporting Ali to vote for GPS candidate Friday Belik.

“Ali has been campaigning with the GPS candidate, telling people not to mark the box next to his name.

“So I’m here to urge the Krian voters, don’t choose Ali’s name on the ballot paper. Please put the cross at the GPS candidate.”

Ali left PKR alongside fellow Sarawakian MP Willie Mongin to join Muhyiddin’s government after the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration.

He had defended the Krian seat since the 2011 state election.

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