Abang Jo: Not time yet to form single multiracial party

Abang Johari speaking to reporters after paying his last respects to the late Dato Sim Swee Yong at the latter's residence near Batu Kawa, Kuching this afternoon.

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KUCHING, June 18: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Parti Rakyat Sarawak’s (PRS) proposal to form a single party for all races and creeds was an “evolution” of sorts and thus should not be rushed.

“He (PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing) proposed the idea a while back, and we have taken note of it.

“However, this would be an evolution. We should not rush it. When the people agree to this idea (of forming a single multiracial party) and it is time to do so for the greater good, then we can implement it.

“We have taken note, but it would take time,” the chief minister, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president, told reporters after paying his last respects to the late Dato Sim Swee Yong at the latter’s residence near Batu Kawa here this afternoon.

Yesterday, Masing told a press conference after his party’s supreme council meeting that PRS would pursue the idea of persuading the state ruling coalition to transform into a single multiracial party to stay relevant in changing times.

This morning, PBB vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told local daily The Borneo Post that Masing should not dictate the setup and structure of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

“GPS is even not registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) yet. Why use the media to put in your terms and conditions?

“These are matters that are supposed to be discussed closed-door among members who aspire to be members and a part of this coalition,” Abdul Karim was reported as saying.

He also reportedly criticised Masing for insinuating that PBB was a dominant party in GPS and that this would not sit well with the rakyat as they expected to see fair power sharing.

“If PRS feels that being a part of GPS would be too unbearable, they can always politely opt not to be a member.

“But you cannot call yourself a friend but at the same time start telling off your friend. There are limits that PBB can take.”

According to the daily, Abdul Karim also wondered out loud why Masing seemed so against PBB being “a dominant party”.

“Has he got a problem with PBB to the extent he seems to equate Umno with PBB?

“Do not try to teach a duck how to swim. PRS lost 50 per cent of its seats in the 14th general election (GE14) and everyone on the street knows why this happened, except Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing!” — DayakDaily