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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 9: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) must show a sharp distinction not only in terms of political struggle but also in work culture if the coalition wants to stay relevant in the changing political landscape.
Highlighting this, Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol emphasised that people would not want to see feudalism among leaders but leaders who are connected and close to the people who chose them.
“But this time around, GPS is in high spirit to fight and protect Sarawak interests and rights as compared to the Barisan Nasional (BN) times, when there were serious impediments due to party prominence in which, to me, caused them to be insensitive towards Sarawakians’ needs and rights,” he shared.
He was met after the ceremony to introduce the GPS logo and song by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters here today.
On concerns about how Sarawakians will receive this new logo that features the magnificent hornbill, Abdullah elaborated that news about the four Sarawak-based parties, namely PBB, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), exiting BN was an old story.
“People are only waiting for the new logo but, more importantly, people want to know what can GPS better deliver to differentiate themselves from BN,” he said.
“We have to move forward, and we don’t have time for politics. Leaders have to go to the ground and explain and get things done,” he added.
Sarawak, he emphasised, is very unique as it is the most plural state in the country, the biggest state in the country and, most importantly, one of the entities which formed the Federation of Malaysia.
“As such, Sarawakians must have high self-esteem in spite of the diversity in cultures and faiths because, at the end of the day, the most important thing for Sarawakians to think about is our rights and our future,” he pointed out.
“In terms of development in the rural areas, we have a lot to catch up on and that’s why our chief minister was brave enough to use the state fund and allocated a record budget of RM11 billion, where 70 per cent goes to development with focus in rural areas because we don’t want to see rural areas being left behind. We want Sarawakians to enjoy the same development,” he admitted.
While the people can assess and choose whichever party to trust and support, Abdullah, however, reminded that when it comes to the importance of Sarawak, to act like ‘Anak Sarawak’ and uphold patriotism to choose those who will continue to defend and safeguard Sarawak and its rights.
“In defending Sarawak’s right, we will not be hostile or that our actions will bring disarray. We will be with other states in Malaysia because we want to be part of this nation still.
“We have to move forward from all the negativities. So, to those who speak and promote hate through race and religion, they should stay as far away from Sarawak as possible because we do not welcome this kind of people,” he concluded. — DayakDaily