By Peter Sibon
KOTA SAMARAHAN, March 19: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice-president Datuk Liwan Lagang expressed puzzlement as to why Sri Aman MP Datuk Masir Kujat has joined a party that is neither part of the Sarawak ruling coalition nor federal Pakatan Harapan (PH) ruling alliance.
Instead of staying with PRS, which is a component party of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Masir instead had chosen to join Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) which is not part of any ruling coalition.
“In the case of Masir, I wonder how he serves the rakyat better in PSB when PSB is outside GPS and taking into account that all the funding is from GPS, which PRS is part of. As you know PSB is outside GPS. Therefore, if you want to get extra funds you should negotiate for the extra funds in Parliament from the federal (government) and not from outside the party that is not with the (federal) government.”
“GPS is the government of the day in Sarawak. Therefore, seeking more funds for the ‘kawasan’ (constituency) outside the government of the day is questionable.
“It’s either you join PH for funding from the federal government or (get funds) from GPS from the Sarawak government. So, what ‘more fund’ is he talking about when he decided to join PSB?” Liwan told the media after visiting Belaga students at Tun Abdul Razak Teachers’ Training Institute here today.
Liwan also gave clarification on a ‘misleading’ media report about PRS, that it was only Masir who had left the party while the others who joined PSB were former PRS leaders who have been expelled from the party.
“We are expressing our shock and surprise at the news saying that PRS members had jumped to PSB. The fact is (they have) not. There is only one, in the person of YB Datuk Masir Kujat jumping. The rest that you people are writing about in the media are those who have been expelled and they are not from PRS. There is no question of them jumping (party),” he said.
Liwan who is also Assistant Minister of Water Supply pointed out that there is no political party that has the means to give funds or projects to their members.
“As far as I am concerned there are no political parties in Malaysia that fund any project for the rakyat as of now. All political parties are limited in funds.
“If PSB has funds equivalent to the government of the day, then I don’t know. It’s for them to tell and to explain.
“So, the motive is not to serve the rakyat because funds comes from the government of the day, either from GPS or PH in the federal (government). You either join GPS or PH so that you can get the funds,” he said.
Liwan who is the only Orang Ulu representative in the Sarawak Cabinet, stressed that the majority of Orang Ulu in Sarawak support the GPS government in Sarawak.
“As a minority group in Sarawak, we will stick with the government of the day in Sarawak for that matter because it’s from GPS we get the funds to serve the rakyat.”
When asked how he saw Masir’s decision to jump ship after winning the seat on the PRS ticket, Liwan quipped, “It’s a matter of your own integrity and loyalty to the party that put you there. We are still thankful to PRS that has put us there. Any future direction of the party should be discussed within the party internally.”
Meanwhile, Murum assemblyman and PRS supreme council member Kennedy Chukpai Ugon revealed that the party is still intact and solid.
“As far as I’m concerned, there is no problem at all within the party. And as far as I’m concerned, the party is still intact and solid. There is only one person who jumped ship. The rest are still intact,” he said. — DayakDaily