Crucial for GPS to practise equal power sharing, says Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, June 12: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing hopes new local pact Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will practise equal power sharing among its component parties.

He told reporters today that Sarawakian voters had been very critical of the Barisan Nasional (BN) before because of its lopsided practices, and this might have contributed to the losses suffered by the state BN in the May 9 general election (GE14).

“It (GPS) must be a meaningful coalition. The bigger parties must not control the smaller guys so that everyone will have a say in that (coalition). This is the most important thing.

“Voters will look at that as they will know if there is equal power sharing. They (Sarawakian voters) are smart people, and they would know,” cautioned Masing.

He paraphrased a Chinese saying: “You can change the name of the soup, but the herbs are still the same. Sometimes, we have to change the herbs as well.”

Masing explained that GPS would also need to change inside out to ensure that it would appeal to Sarawakian voters, especially in the next state election, which must be called by 2021.

“GPS caters for Sarawak’s interest and for Sarawak alone. It is purely Sarawak-based.”

The establishment of GPS was announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg this morning after he declared that the state’s four ruling parties — Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), PRS and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) — had pulled out from the BN coalition.

Masing said a task force had been formed to handle all the work needed to get GPS registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS), to inform the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat, and to inform the national BN leadership.

The GPS logo and office bearers would be determined later.

“There are still many things to work out. We have a lot to do in the next few weeks. We don’t have the luxury of time, and we need to make a smooth change to ensure we are still relevant to Sarawak,” said Masing. — DayakDaily