KUCHING, July 15: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says the state can heave a huge sigh of relief now that it was no longer with the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which was oppressive in a certain way.
He said when the BN still held power, Sarawak leaders had no other choice but to comply with all orders from the federal government.
Now that the state’s ruling coalition had left BN to form local pact Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the state could now voice out its interests and rights as well as make decisions independently.
“When we were still under BN, the former ruling coalition, we must obey what they say. There was no freedom to bring up issues or go against something that we did not agree with in Parliament.
“However, the situation is different now. This is sort of a blessing in disguise, too, because we can now speak out on any issues. Who else will know Sarawak better other than us, Sarawakians?” he said at the e-DOK Raya gathering here today.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) made the unanimous decision to leave BN on June 12 this year.
On Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit, Abang Johari said he told the prime minister that GPS would cooperate and collaborate with Putrajaya for national interest and for state rights, but that GPS would not support policies deemed to be against the interest of Sarawakians. — DayakDaily