Exiting BN: Sarawak ruling parties to decide June 12

Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi

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KUCHING, June 7: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) general-secretary Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi kept his lips sealed when asked to comment on reports that the Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) is leaving the once all-powerful national coalition.

“I cannot confirm or deny it. Just wait until the Sarawak BN meeting, which will be held on June 12.

“The meeting will be attended by all (four) component parties,” Nanta told DayakDaily today, but he declined to divulge further details when pressed.

A national news portal had claimed earlier today that the Sarawak BN would be leaving the national coalition despite pleas from acting UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi not to do so.

The Sarawak BN comprises four parties: PBB, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

With the ambiguous answer from Nanta, it is highly likely that the Sarawak BN will make an exit from the national body because speculations are rife that UMNO and its close links to scandal-ridden former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is a liability to the state.

In addition, UMNO has long been a domineering and unpopular party among Sarawakians.

In fact, on May 16, just a week after the May 9 General Election (GE14), PRS president cum Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing had called on the Sarawak BN to leave and form its own local front instead.

Following Masing’s call, PBB vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had, on May 24, told DayakDaily that there was a high likelihood that the Sarawak coalition would indeed make such a move.

Sarawak will go to polls in about three years’ time when the current State Legislative Assembly’s term expires, so the state government cannot risk being dragged down by the massive power abuse and corruption allegations plaguing the national BN.

The question now is will that historic step out of the BN be announced on June 12? All eyes are now on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, for only he has the answer. — DayakDaily