By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Dec 18: Members of Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) have been told to join any party in the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state coalition if they are sincere in their struggles to protect Sarawak’s rights.
Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has found it quite ambitious if PSB were to contest in all 82 seats in the next Sarawak election due 2021.
Without strong financial backing, membership numbers or solid presence and structure on the ground, PSB might stretch itself thin come 12th state election, he opined.
“GPS is regarded as the last bastion to defend Sarawak’s rights and the Malaysia Agreement.
“If PSB is sincere in defending Sarawak’s rights, the party should not contest against the state ruling coalition. Its members should join any of the GPS component parties instead, to strengthen Sarawak-based political parties.
“We do not want a situation where PSB, if they win the election, might not be able to administer the state, like what is happening at the federal level under Pakatan Harapan,” he told reporters after visiting Bintawa health clinic here today.
The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) lawmaker said members of the GPS coalition, including Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), have strong presence and solid structure on the ground.
“All we need to do is to strengthen the structure and work hard to ensure the opposing parties do not take over Sarawak,” he continued.
Wan Junaidi even advised PSB not to contest in the state election but work with GPS to defend Sarawak from outside influence.
He believed that once external parties, particularly Pakatan Harapan, take over Sarawak, they will sell the state’s assets to address the current economic situation.
Wan Junaidi claimed that the nation’s economy continues to worsen since 2018, with the performance of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) recording a decline of 33 per cent as of today (Dec 18), losing nearly RM400 billion as a result of share depreciation over the past 10 days.
He alleged that many local businesses and food premises in the peninsula are closing due to the worsening economic situation.
He also cited the internal conflict in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) as another reason for the people not to entrust the Pakatan coalition to rule Sarawak.
On a personal note, Wan Junaidi opined that PSB will not pose a threat to PBB in the next state election.
“PBB has always been united. Since I become a Member of Parliament in 1990, PBB had only lost one seat in the elections, which is the Puncak Borneo parliamentary constituency in the 14th General Election in 2018,” he said.
Meanwhile, PSB has gained traction in their campaign leading up to the next state election.
Yesterday, party president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh announced former Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe as its candidate for Tasik Biru, while PSB vice-president Datuk Ranum Mina would defend his Opar seat.
The announcement followed earlier confirmation of Wong’s candidacy for Bawang Assan, as well as Sri Aman MP Datuk Masir Kujat, who will contest in Balai Ringin.
When announcing Masir’s candidacy on Dec 14, Wong said the party has been engaging in intensive efforts to mingle with people across the grassroots level.
In his speech, he said PSB was taking a liberal approach in pursuing its political course, nurturing the spirit of unity to safeguard Sarawak.
PSB, as a local-based political party, means to fight for the interests of all Sarawakians irrespective of race and faith, he added.
PSB has 36 branches across Sarawak. — DayakDaily