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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Feb 23: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Sarawak is officially a member party of the state Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Making this announcement, Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the state Pakatan was now a four-party coalition comprising Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), and Bersatu.
“We welcome Bersatu into PH Sarawak. Such a nice coincidence to take on the four-party GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak coalition) in the next state election,” he told a press conference after chairing a PH Sarawak meeting at DAP headquarters here today.
“Pursuant to the meeting, we have also formed PH Sarawak secretariat comprising two members from each party,” he added.
PH Sarawak, he continued, will be holding its convention in two months’ time in Kuching and the date and venue will be confirmed later.
Describing the first meeting of the four parties as fruitful, Chong revealed that they have had long discussions on the strategy to take on GPS in the coming state election.
“It is only a matter of rolling out the plans and strategies that have been decided in our meeting,” he said.
When pressed on problems over seat allocation which saw clashes in the past, he added that there will be further meetings to decide on the seats later but expressed optimism that the sharing would be achieved “easily”.
“It is most unlikely there will be any three-corner fights in any of the seats that the state PH will be contesting in. There will be no two PH component parties in one constituency or two GPS component parties in one constituency,” he said.
Chong pointed out that the priority now was to focus on working together as a team to project the coalition as one united front as well as to roll out and help implement the federal government policies that were beneficial to the rakyat.
“Our focus is to bridge the federal government and the people of Sarawak as there are some 20 to 30 ministries offering a wide range of policies to benefit Sarawakians,” he said.
When further pressed on Bersatu contesting in the state election, Chong said: “PH Sarawak will definitely be contesting. We will go into the state election as one united front. Whether it is Bersatu, DAP, PKR or Amanah is secondary. But we will all be Pakatan Harapan.”
He emphasised that this was the consensus reached for the coming state election and that they would be PH candidates.
State Bersatu interim secretary-general Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian revealed that as of February 2018, membership in Sarawak had reached 15,700 while the rest were still in the process of keying in into the online membership system.
Bersatu Sarawak, which was launched in Dec 1 last year, has yet to appoint its chairman. Bersatu was expected to appoint its Sarawak chairman after its annual general assembly held from Dec 28 to 30 in Putrajaya but Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Bersatu chairman, has yet to make the announcement to date.
The Sarawak chairman will be determined by Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Bersatu Supreme Leadership Council.
State PKR vice-chairman, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, See Chee How; Amanah Sarawak chairman Fidzuan Zaidi; as well as other opposition elected representatives were among those present. — DayakDaily