By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Sept 14: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has no plan yet to assist its ‘strategic’ Perikatan Nasional (PN) partners in Sabah, said GPS secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
As such, he would leave the matter to top GPS leadership to decide.
“At the moment, we have not decided (and) we have not discussed that (yet),” Nanta told reporters after a dialogue session with the Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations (SFCA) and Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak (ACCCIS) held at SFCA headquarters here today.
He opined that should the top GPS decided to help its partners in Sabah state election, it would be to show their solidarity as part of the federal government.
“If we go there to help why not because we are together in the federal government. I don’t see anything wrong if GPS wants to help PN (in Sabah state election).
Nanta was asked to comment whether GPS will assist PN component parties in the Sabah state election, where both Barisan Nasional and Bersatu joined in the fray against the Warisan-led coalition.
On another issue, Nanta, who is also Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said if he were to go to Sabah, he would be going there to carry out his ministerial duties and not to campaign.
“Sarawak and Sabah are not really the same in terms of how elections have been conducted over the years. The sentiments, even though both states are in East Malaysia, in Borneo, the happenings politically over there is not mirrored, not exactly (as) it is happening in Sarawak. So that’s the difference,” he said.
The Kapit MP also pointed out that if the PN partners contesting against each other in Sabah election could cause friction at the federal level, it would depend on how they campaigned.
“If the campaign is carried out harshly and become personal, I’m sure it will cause some abrasions if you like in their relationships.
“But if the campaign is carried out in a friendly manner, on policies and no hard feelings, then I would see less of that friction.
“So, competition, depends on how you conduct your campaign because if you are aggressive, there will be reaction and may end up in a quarrel. If everybody is more objective and you argue based on policies and on your struggle, may be, it doesn’t have to escalate into something nasty,” he said.
Nanta also opined that the record number of candidates contesting in Sabah would not necessarily happen in the upcoming 12th Sarawak state election.
It has been reported that a record 447 candidates will vie for the 73 seats in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly this time around with 13 additional seats which has been approved in Parliament just prior to the last 14th General Election.-DayakDaily