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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 13: It is best to raise the issue of seat arrangements when leaders of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) meet, opined the alliance’s secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
He said it was alright that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg did not respond immediately to the seat issue brought up by Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing during the party’s Triennial General Assembly (TGA) in Bintulu yesterday.
“The chief minister definitely heard it and took note of it, so I believe Datuk Seri Tiong can bring this issue up at the GPS meeting for them to discuss,” he told DayakDaily.
“It is all right for the chief minister not to respond at the TGA because this is a serious matter, where the GPS meeting is a better forum and level to talk and discuss it.”
Nanta, who is also Kapit MP, was responding to PDP’s appeal to Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman, to return to the party its three traditional seats plus an additional two seats that were promised before the 2016 state election.
Abang Johari, who officiated at the TGA, however, did not elaborate on the issue immediately in his speech.
Instead, he responded with a Malay poem that implied ‘not to fight over seats but instead develop Sarawak together through GPS’.
On the issue of better power-sharing, Nanta trusts that the chief minister is an inclusive leader who is putting all efforts into moving Sarawak towards a modern and more inclusive future.
Touching on the status and position of ‘friendly partners’ of GPS, such as Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), following rumours of an impending merger to create a new political entity, Nanta said he was not aware of the rumour but explained that those who subscribed to GPS’ objectives could apply to join the ruling coalition.
“As I have said, GPS will then consider these applications on a case-by-case basis, whether they will be accepted.
“The requirement now is three out of four component parties will make the majority decision, unlike the tradition in Barisan Nasional (BN) that required a 100 per cent or unanimous decision,” he pointed out. — DayakDaily