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KUCHING, September 14: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has reassured Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal government that it will support policies benefitting the nation as a whole.
However, its protem secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said the coalition will not compromise on policies that does not serve the best interest of Sarawakians.
“He (Dr Mahathir) understood our stance as we assured him that we want to be Pakatan-friendly for the good of the country.
“We are happy when the prime minister assured us that he understood our sentiments for the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and that he will work out with Sarawak to restore the original status of Sarawak as a region and not as one of the thirteen states in Malaysia.
“The original arrangement during the formation of Malaysia in 1963 was that the states of Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore were of equal partners in Malaysia. Singapore later left the federation in 1965,” Nanta told DayakDaily here today.
The Kapit MP, who is the grandson of the late Tun Jugah Barieng, told the prime minister that the Dayak people were not really savvy in politics in the early days after the formation of Malaysia.
“All we knew was that the formation of Malaysia was a promise of greater development for the people of Sarawak, including the Dayaks and the rural areas of the State. Thus, we have all along been supportive of this ‘politics of development’.
“I told him on record that the GPS, made up of Sarawak-based political parties, is a capable coalition to administer the state. GPS has capable leaders to lead Sarawak.
“And I also reminded him that as a former Barisan Nasional (BN) leader and prime minister from 1981 to 2003, we (Sarawak BN then) were solidly supporting him. We supported BN because they were the government of the day. We support the government of the day because the government can be relied upon to help Sarawak and her people on development,” he continued.
The former Deputy Minister of Regional and Rural Development also told Dr Mahathir that the Sarawak Government has been focusing on ‘politics of development’ since the time of Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, followed by the late Pehin Sri Adenan Saten and now the current chief minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“Tun Mahathir told us it is more challenging for him to lead the nation now because he feels that there are too many things which are not right anymore – too much debts, and therefore, we are facing financial constraints to develop meaningful development. Even the civil service needs to be fixed,” he said.
Nanta added that Dr Mahathir also lamented that there was too much politicking in the country and that the problem of corruption has to be tackled.
On another matter, the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) secretary-general said he did not bring up the matter of GPS registration with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) with the Prime Minister, as GPS leaders preferred the coalition to follow the rules and the normal procedure instead of seeking speedy registration. — DayakDaily