Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the ruling coalition in the state, has maintained that it will not give way to peninsula-based parties in the general election to come, not even those with which it has friendly ties.
GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg said it would instead contest all 31 seats once the 15th general election (GE15) is called.
“I already said we will fill all 31 seats,” he said today when asked if GPS would give way to Bersatu in GE15.
Bersatu, led by Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin, currently holds two federal seats in Sarawak: Puncak Borneo and Saratok.
Both are held by former PKR members: Willie Mongin in Puncak Borneo and Ali Biju in Saratok.
GPS, comprising Abang Johari’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak and the Progressive Democratic Party, is widely seen as a kingmaker in federal politics.
Its support, along with that of PAS, was seen as crucial to the success of the so-called Sheraton Move which saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February 2020.
Last year, Muhyiddin said his bloc would work with GPS at the next general election, adding that an understanding had been reached at a meeting with Abang Johari, the Sarawak premier, several weeks before the state election in December.
He said the understanding included Bersatu giving way to GPS by not contesting the Sarawak election and GPS in turn working with Bersatu at GE15.
“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.”