KUCHING, June 12: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) leaders today describe the pulling out of the four state ruling parties from the Barisan Nasional (BN) today as a gimmick for political survival, with one leader labelling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as “BN 2.0”.
Commenting on the unanimous decision by Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) to quit BN, state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said it showed they were buddies only during the good times, and would dump their “friends” when times turned difficult.
He remembered Sarawak leaders, led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, were singing praises of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak before the BN fell from power in the May 9 general election (GE14). Some of them even described Najib as the best prime minister for Sarawak.
“As recent as May 14, (PRS President Tan Sri Dr) James Masing said he would ‘sink or swim with BN’. Yet, they now all quit BN, adding insult to injury.”
Chong opined that name-changing without a clear change in policies was meaningless, and in GPS’ case, they would likely go along with UMNO if the latter ever regained its power in the future.
Meanwhile, DAP Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong believed the change of name (of the coalition) would not help the state’s ruling parties win in the next state election, which is due in three years’ time.
“They (Sarawak leaders) have not learned from GE14. They have not repented. They have not shown their sincerity to transform Sarawak into a clean, accountable and transparent government,” said Yong.
She opined that the only way forward to win the hearts of Sarawakians was to get rid of all corrupt practices and be accountable for every single sen spent.
To Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Dr Kelvin Yii, quitting BN and forming GPS is akin to “old wine in a new bottle” or a change of clothes to serve their own interest.
Despite having a different name, he said GPS still had the same set of leaders who had abused their power over the years.
“In GE14, the rakyat voted for change because of BN’s corrupt practices. It is not just the name (BN) that the people rejected, but the leaders, too, because they have been abusing their power,” said Yii.
To Chong’s special assistant Abdul Aziz Isa, GPS is actually “BN2.0” because the new coalition comprised the same bunch of corrupt leaders who live lavishly and are tainted with scandals.
Abdul Aziz even made fun of the name “GPS”. He said it was obsolete as people nowadays were using traffic and navigation app “Waze” to move around. — DayakDaily