KUCHING, June 21: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) today vehemently denied that its president and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had discussed with United Malays National Organisation (Umno) acting president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi about leaving Barisan Nasional (BN) and forming Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
In a press statement, PBB information chief Datuk Idris Buang said he had been tasked to clarify a video, that had gone viral, where Zahid told an unidentified audience that he had a meeting and discussion with Abang Johari regarding the latter’s intention to form GPS and exiting BN.
“As one of the authorised spokesmen, on behalf of our party president, I hereby wish to state that our president and our party categorically deny the occurrence of any such meeting or discussion,” said Idris.
“Our party president had clearly announced that the intention of leaving BN and forming GPS instead is a mutual deliberate act done purely upon one reason … that is for it (GPS) being the only group of credible and capable Sarawak-based parties that could effectively fight for Sarawak’s rights. GPS would move on as a united front.”
Idris, who is also Muara Tuang assemblyman, stressed that GPS, being a group of purely Sarawak-based parties consisting of PBB, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), would be free from any “outside or extraneous interference”, whether by former allies or foes, in any of its affairs and decisions.
“GPS is completely divorced from BN. Period. Neither speculation nor conjectures could change that fact. It is self-standing and master of its own destiny. It will be steadfastly focused and uncompromising in its effort to take back Sarawak’s infringed rights and that it will do without fear or favour.
“As far as we in GPS are concerned, most of the issues that significantly affected the performance of BN in GE14 had nothing to do with us in Sarawak, namely 1MDB, ECRL and China investment, to name a few,” he said.
Idris added that Sarawak-based members under the leadership of Abang Johari had immaculate and exemplary track records as a responsible state government.
“Our paramount and most important priority now is to make sure Sarawakians of all backgrounds will continue to be served and their basic needs, particularly those in the rural areas, are addressed in the best way.
“So leaving our former pact is, therefore, a natural thing for us to do in order to be neutral to all the political firestorms that are now happening across the South China Sea. We just concentrate with ensuring the well-being of Sarawak and its people are well-kept and improved to a much greater level,” he added.
Meanwhile, Idris also affirmed that Sarawak was independent in every aspect of its existence and disposition before the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
“It is well comprehended that the interests of Sarawak and its people, including its constitutional rights and those as stipulated in the Malaysian Agreement of 1963, cannot be undermined or prejudiced in any way, even by being merely ‘perceived’ as having a relationship with any Semenanjung-based parties,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily