All’s well that ends well

PRS leaders meeting with Abang Johari (seated, centre). Abang Johari is flanked by Masing (fourth from right) and Salang.

KUCHING, June 25: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) leaders had a “fruitful meeting” with Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg this morning to explain two recent issues that had cast its party president, Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, in a bad light.

Its secretary-general, Datuk Joseph Salang, said during the meeting, PRS explained that the proposal to turn Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) into a single multiracial party instead of a coalition of different race-based parties was merely a suggestion before things came to a finality.

“We also explained why we promoted such an idea. Such a suggestion does not mean we are leaving GPS if the suggestion was not accepted,” Salang told DayakDaily.

He said the other issue PRS clarified with the chief minister concerned using the state’s reserves for development.

“In the same token, we were suggesting that the reserves should be spent for the benefits of the people, especially for those in the rural areas, since there is great need and loud cry for infrastructure development such as road connectivity, water and electricity.

“Of course, we understand that is a state matter and calls for the decision of the cabinet and, finally, the decision of the state assembly. So it was merely a suggestion,” said Salang.

He said the clarifications were well accepted by Abang Johari and, to him, the goodwill meeting ended with better understanding between PRS and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

“He (Abang Johari) understood and accepted our clarifications. It was a fruitful meeting, where something good had come about,” said Salang.

Recently, Masing had voiced out his view that GPS should be metamorphosed into a single multiracial party to minimise sabotaging from within and to stay relevant in view of the changing political climate in the country. But the idea was not well accepted by some GPS leaders and it became a point of conflict.

On the spending of the RM31 billion state reserves, Masing had said during the PRS Ngiling Tikai Dinner on June 17 that the government should use some of the reserves to enhance rural development.

His suggestion was, however, interpreted by some newsmen as asking the state government to “use up” all the reserves before the next state election due in 2021.

To clarify both issues, PRS recently called for a press conference before setting a meeting with Abang Johari. — DayakDaily