By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 16: Sarawak should be governed by Sarawak-based parties just like Putrajaya is governed by Malaya-based parties, opined Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
“The federal government is led by political parties from Malaya. So, we appeal to Sarawakians that the state government be kept to ourselves,” Nanta told the media at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) ministers’ Gawai open house held at Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters here today.
He stressed that the people should not discard the present state government, which has proven to be capable in transforming Sarawak and its people.
“We should keep what we have rather than discarding it to go for something new. I don’t want to be negative and I don’t want to condemn (Pakatan Harapan or PH) but a lot of people told me that they are not so happy now after one year (of PH in power).
“Many of the things that are promised (by PH) in the manifesto are never (sic) achieved. But because today is Gawai, I would rather go on the positive side. For the federal government, let them (PH) run it but for Sarawak let us take care of it,” he said.
Nanta, who is also advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office reiterated that as the incumbent state government, GPS has the upper hand over the opposition.
“Our position now is that we are the incumbent. We have 72 out of 82 seats (in the State Legislative Assembly). We know there are a lot of issues which have cropped up. But even if we are the incumbent there is no guarantee (to win) but we expect them (elected representatives) to work harder and serve their areas well and also to explain the political situation.
“Our trump card is that we are fighting for Sarawak and we are not just talking. That’s why the CM is demanding what is ours legally in the constitution. So that way the rakyat will realize that the CM and the cabinet ministers and all of us should have full confidence that we mean what we say and our struggle for Sarawak is genuine and we should think that way,” he said.
On the latest progress of GPS, its ‘kenyalang’ logo will be used on the ballot paper for the coming state election as it has been approved by the Election Commission.
“GPS is something new. The people are more familiar with old logo. But after our explanation, it’s easy to recognize our kenyalang-look-alike logo. What we want to say is that our logo contains the ‘S’ which stands for our slogan which ‘Sarawak First’ because we put Sarawak’s interest first,” he said.
Nanta added that GPS has been launched in various zones throughout the state and will launched in Mukah on June 22.
“GPS is getting steady (sic), going from zone to zone. We have divided Sarawak into various zones to get the people familiar with it (GPS) especially the logo,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nanta clarified that GPS will not extend invitations to join the state-based coalition to any political parties including Parti Sarawak Bersatu, which has proclaimed itself as a GPS-friendly party.
“It’s entirely up to them. In the beginning when we just formed GPS, we also made it known to them that once we get our registration approved, they can apply to join us. That was many months ago. So, if they want to join us, they (must) submit their application. If they apply, then the committee will see…but I think a lot has happened so I don’t want to speculate anything,” he said.
He reiterated that as a coalition of four parties, any party which wished to join GPS must apply rather than wait to be invited.
“It’s better for other parties to decide for themselves whether they want to join us. And there is no direct membership into GPS as such. But if you are a member of any component party, you are a member of GPS. Membership in GPS is through its four component parties, namely PBB, PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak), SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party) and PDP (Progressive Democratic Party),” he said. — DayakDaily