By Lian Cheng
KAPIT, Dec 21: It is of great advantage for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to be part of Perikatan Nasional (PN) presidential council as the council will provide an avenue for GPS to make known its view points with regards to issues affecting Sarawak.
Based on this argument, GPS secretary general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi believed that it is beneficial for GPS to be part of the top decision-making body of the ruling coalition.
“If we are part of the PN presidential council, whatever decision to be taken later by the PN government, at least GPS will be the first in the know. And GPS will also have the opportunity to express our opinions. If we agree with something, we would be able to say we agree and if we don’t agree, then it is a good avenue for us to say no.
“So there are a lot of benefits to be part of PN presidential council. If we are a member, we have the avenue; we are in the know, in the loop, so to speak. When they meet, we will be there and properly represented. It is for the benefit of Sarawak.
“If they have a major decision, and we are not in the know, surely, it cannot be that good. But if we are in it, whatever decision, whatever that affects us, we would be in the know and we would have the opportunity to express our point of view. So the benefits are obvious,” Nanta told the media during a dinner of Nanga Antawau Welfare Association here on Sunday evening.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister explained that the idea of having a presidential council is to allow member parties of PN to be able to sit down together where they are able to discuss whatever matters that concern all member parties, and major decisions, perhaps will be discussed at that level first before they will be made.
On the view of Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan who held that for GPS to agree to be in the company of PAS to form PN presidential council, GPS is opening Sarawak to extreme political and religious ideologies, Nanta explained that the presidential council provides a platform for all member parties to express their opinions, not just PAS.
“The presidential council is not only for PAS; it is also for GPS; it is also for UMNO; it is also for Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia). Why does it has to be focused as if PAS is the only party which can use it for their benefits?”
“The presidential council is an avenue for all the party members of PN, to come together and do consultation, not just meant only for PAS. GPS will have the same avenue and UMNO and BN can use the same avenue, as long as they are part of the presidential council of the PN,” said Nanta who is also Kapit MP.
Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, who was also present, cited the recent Commercial Settlement Agreement (CSA) signed between the Sarawak government and Petronas as an example of a positive outcome which may be resulted from being part of the presidential council.
“It is this kind of outcome that we want to see to come out from presidential council – something that benefits Sarawak. Previously during the time of Pakatan Harapan, Sarawak was not given anything under former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“But the presidential council under present Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), Sarawak has been able to get what we want – the five per cent SST (State Sales Tax) and later the CSA signed. So it is beneficial for GPS to be in the PN presidential council,” said Ugak. — DayakDaily