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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Oct 22: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing’s recent opinion on the need for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to be fair to all its coalition partners and to practise meaningful power sharing must be perceived in a positive light.
This is because what Masing uttered at the party’s Extraordinary Delegates Conference (EDC) in Sibu was for the good of GPS, said PRS Women chief Dato Sri Doris Brodie.
She emphasised that the advice must not be seen or regarded as against Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), as it was just a caution and an insight for everyone in GPS, including PRS, going forward.
“We are a team in GPS; and as a team, I feel that there is no harm that we caution and remind each other. After all, it’s for GPS collective benefit,” she said in a statement today.
Stressing that Masing meant well in his speech, as he had mentioned that ‘Our inputs and criticisms are for the good and betterment of GPS and are put forward in all sincerity for the good of GPS’, Doris urged leaders and the public at large to give the president’s comments a fair hearing and assessment that it deserved.
“Our president was addressing our delegates, and, therefore, it was important that his speech was tailored to the mood and concerns of the delegates and members,” she said.
In response to PBB Information chief Dato Idris Buang’s comments, Doris agreed that PBB is indeed a strong party and being strongest, it has to lead.
“However, being a leader, it should be open to constructive criticisms, especially if it is for our collective benefit. Because PBB is our coalition partner in GPS, we don’t want PBB to be perceived like Umno. It’s for that reason such utterance and concern were expressed by our party president and that concern was unanimously shared by PRS members.
“For that, I feel, as a responsible leader of a coalition partner, that’s why our president has no qualms to caution that if PBB being the strongest and is too dominant and refuses to listen to inputs from smaller coalition, ‘pride before a fall’ can be repeated comes 2021. After all, if GPS falls, so do all its coalition partners,” she said.
She reiterated Masing’s views, especially on the fact that all coalition partners, regardless of their size, deserved to be heard and accorded fairness as well as on having meaningful power-sharing within GPS, including in the civil service, political positions and board of directors in government-linked companies (GLC) for the coalition to strengthen its position to fight Pakatan Harapan (PH) come the next state election in 2021.
“It is because we support the chief minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) as the leader of GPS that we want to make sure that all Sarawakians feel that they are not marginalised.
“Thus, meaningful power sharing is important in order that we could garner 100 per cent support for the chief minister’s leadership and GPS, especially in the coming state election in 2021,” she said.
PRS Deputy Women chief Rosaline Neging also urged all not to jump on Masing’s comments too quickly but “hear us out”.
“Peel our eyes and don’t be too complacent. We must learn from what happened to Barisan Nasional (BN). Our president meant well because if GPS falls, so do all (the parties in) the coalition. Remember, don’t repeat the demise of BN.
Meanwhile, the party’s Women vice-chief Angeline Umih had this to say: “Those words expressed by our president were expressed in good faith. Hence, they deserve a good analysis and not defensiveness. Our president only wants the best for GPS.”
The Women Wing’s secretary, Misiah Abdullah, agreed that the president’s speech should be taken in good faith “as he reminded us of the importance and that there is no shame in learning from history”.
“He also pointed out that the BN concept was correct, but implementation was faulty. To that, I should think we all must face reality, and defensiveness by certain parties is not necessary.” — DayakDaily