Community leader says UPP should be admitted into GPS

Wee (right) and his wife, Datin Dona Drury-Wee, at the Chief Minister's Hari Raya Open House.

KUCHING, June 15: Should United People’s Party (UPP) be admitted into newly-formed local pact Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)?

For Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions president, Dato Richard Wee, the answer is “yes”, because UPP shares the same vision and struggles of GPS.

“It should be okay for UPP to be admitted into GPS, but there should be no politicking. This is because UPP has five assemblymen, and three of them are Bumiputera.

“If PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) were to open its doors, surely they will go in already,” Wee told DayakDaily when met at the Chief Minister’s Hari Raya Open House at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today.

Wee opined that if GPS stopped UPP’s entry, there was a high likelihood its three Bumiputera assemblymen — Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Mambong), Dato Ranum Mina (Opar) and Johnical Rayong Nyipa (Engkilili) — would reattempt to join PBB or join Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

Presently, GPS comprises PBB, PRS, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced its formation on June 12, the day the four ruling parties pulled out of the once impregnable fortress Barisan Nasional (BN).

When asked to comment on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between SUPP and UPP before the May 9 general election, Wee said that agreement was a “non event”, unless both parties were still interested to pursue the matter.

Abang Johari, who witnessed the signing of the MoU on March 23, 2018, had said then that the agreement was meant to serve as a motivator for UPP and SUPP to explore the means to unite as one entity in order to represent the interest of the Chinese and other communities within the BN spirit.

Wee pointed out that the MoU was done within the ambit of the BN, as its (BN) constitution stated that any new member to be admitted into the coalition must be based on unanimous decision from all its member parties.

“But now that the four parties (PBB, PRS, SUPP and PDP) have left BN, and the new grouping (GPS) may have no such restriction, they (SUPP and UPP) should asked themselves if there is a genuine effort for them to come together.

“If there is none, it is better for them to ‘cerai’ (divorce).”

Meanwhile, UPP secretary-general George Lo said his party had not been invited to join GPS, as yet. — DayakDaily