GPS must take a strong stand on ship-jumping, say PRS leaders

Pelagus Assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, March 9: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should adopt a firm stance in tacking defection from GPS component parties to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) as failure to do so will affect its principle of unity, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) supreme council member Wilson Nyabong Ijang.

“If not, then GPS components will start to assume that it is better to be a GPS-friendly party, where you get all the perks with no liability and consequences to what you do. In this aspect, I believe the principle of solidarity ‘You touch one of us, you touch all’ should be applied,” he said.

The Pelagus assemblyman was responding to front-page articles in two local English dailies that PRS was having a crisis after its vice president cum Sri Aman MP Datuk Masit Kujat resigned and subsequently joined PSB.

“I come to respond because of the headlines `PRS Crisis’ in two local newspapers today. It is not PRS crisis or SUPP crisis alone, but it’s actually a GPS crisis,” he argued.

He reasoned that it was a GPS crisis because outsiders were now pinching members and seats from under GPS’s nose.

“I agree with YAB Chief Minister that this is an inherited problem. Now that GPS is no longer BN, but a brand new coalition with its own set of principles, I believe GPS will subscribe to a new formula to resolve the problem,” he said.

Nyabong also clarified that PRS had expelled several of its leaders, including its deputy president Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun just before the last general election as they were assisting the opposition to sabotage their own candidates in the last general election.

“The main reason why Entulu was sacked was that he helped the opposition to whack our own PRS candidates in the previous general election! I do not think any political party can condone this,” he said.

Nyabong noted that after his sacking from PRS, Entulu joined PKR on May 13, 2018, as reported in the newspapers. So was former Marudi assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entrie.

“So Entulu joining PSB is not a PRS problem, but a PKR’s problem,” he stressed.

Nyabong agreed with the statement of his president, Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, that its members were free to jump to political parties of their choice based on freedom of association.

“It is also good that Masir announced in public that he has resigned from PRS but still claim onto PRS’s Sri Aman seat.

“Now that he thinks Sri Aman belongs to him, I would like to remind any creditors who have any of his unpaid bills from the previous election to look for him directly and not look for PRS,” he said.

Another PRS supreme council member, Jackson Melintang, said Masir should not have stood under PRS and BN ticket in the last general election if he had planned to defect to PSB.

Jackson Melintang.

“His action to leave the party that put him up so that he could be elected as an MP clearly showed that he has no principle as a true leader,” he opined.

Meanwhile, Masing hoped that GPS would nip the problem affecting the coalition in the bud.

“I agree with Associated Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi that if we don’t nip this problem in the bud, it can turn into a political tsunami that would affect the whole of GPS as those responsible to take them in has the means and resources to do what they are doing,” he cautioned.

Yesterday, Awang Azman had told DayakDaily that although there is currently no anti-hopping law in the country to prevent party hopping, the dignity of elected representatives who switched camp is unethical and immoral as it betrayed the mandate given by the voters.

Thus, he said, it was indeed a wise move by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg Abang Johari as GPS chairman to discuss party hopping issue among its four component parties, following the move by Masir to join PSB, a non-GPS party.

“The Chief Minister’s move is a wise and proactive step in order to ensure this current ‘storm in the teacup’ will not turn into a political tsunami that can affect GPS’ position in facing the next state election.

“If this issue is not resolved wisely, a three-cornered clash will occur between GPS, PSB and PH. And if this is the case, it will hurt GPS more as it will benefit PH (Pakatan Harapan), especially PKR,” said Awang Azman.— DayakDaily