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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Jan 22: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) must choose the best leader in order to win the next state election, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
He said the four GPS component parties, namely Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), must put their best ‘card on the table’ and let the people of Sarawak decide in the coming state election.
“GPS must do away with the Barisan Nasional (BN) mentality, and all of us from the four component parties must sit down as a family and decide what is there for us.
“Let us pick the best leader to lead Sarawak. If you are the best leader for Sarawak, then let it be, regardless of who you are. And let’s not look at race and religion.
“If it is a Muslim, so be it. If it is a Chinese, so be it. And if they want a Dayak as chief minister, then we decide before the next state election. We must decide what we want and what is best for Sarawak that will allow us to win the state election,” Masing told DayakDaily at his residence here today.
He reiterated that the coming state election would be GPS vs Malaya-based parties in Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“It’s going to be Team Sarawak versus Team Malaya. Who should be our captain? We decide. But that decision must be from the person who has the best leadership quality among us in order to control the whole of Sarawak,” he said.
He considered those who merely look at race and religion as the main criteria to be the leader and chief minister of Sarawak as being emotional.
“If you do that, it is not good for Sarawak as a multi-racial society. That’s how I see it as I grow older. Now I see things differently. Sarawak is as it is today because we are very tolerant of each other. If you make friends with a Chinese, it’s not because of his or her race. It’s because of who the person is. And I think this is very important,” he stressed.
Masing, who is also PRS president, pointed out that GPS must learn from its past experience when it was part of BN, where there was only one dominant political entity.
“BN was led by a Malaya-based party, Umno. We have experienced ‘orang Malaya’ dulu, we have learnt our lesson. Now we are on our own, whether we are right or wrong. If we are right, we will get the praise, but if we are wrong, then we are to be blamed,” he said.
Masing also cautioned that if the people were to choose PH, then it would be back to square one, like before when BN was in control.
“We have to look after our assets. If ‘orang Malaya’ datang, not only the Dayaks or the Malays will lose, the Chinese also ‘kalah’. They will open the gate. No autonomy for immigration. Where will it lead us? ‘Habis la cerita’,” he added. — DayakDaily