“Single multiracial party idea is to put GPS on a firm footing”

Andy Lawrence

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KUCHING, June 19: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth publicity chief Andy Lawrence today clarified that the suggestion to turn Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) into a single multiracial party was to put the ruling coalition on a strong foundation.

It was not meant to dictate GPS’ structure.

“We accept the fact that it has to be fine tuned, and we do subscribe to our Chief Minister’s (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) notion that it is ‘an evolution and must not rush things’.

“Therefore, there is no issue of things being ‘too unbearable and opt not to be a member’ in so far as PRS in concerned. Consensus is always our recipe thus far,” Andy said in a statement today.

He acknowledged there was a difference between “dictate” and “suggest”, and in the context of the statement by PRS president, Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, on June 17, Masing was just putting up a bold, realistic and constructive suggestion for the betterment of GPS and Sarawak as a whole.

“Prima facie, and on a brighter note, we believe it would be good ‘food for thought’ to challenge the static and status quo political environment.

“We need to come out from this ‘as usual’ and dormancy scenario. This change may be necessary in this new era of political environments,” he said.

Andy likened the political development of GPS as building a house where the builders need to ensure the house is built on solid ground and the layout plans subscribing to the “specifications of the day” to enable it to withstand strong and stormy weather in the days ahead.

“It is our utmost desire to see that GPS is built on a strong foundation to confront the onslaught in the 12th state election, which is due in 2021.”

He also cited the on-going public poll conducted by The Borneo Post – `Should GPS be a single multiracial party?’ – where so far 72 per cent of those who voted answered ‘Yes’ and 28 per cent answered ‘No’.

He acknowledged change was difficult, more so if it involved the whole segment of Sarawak’s multiracial society.

“There will be challenges and mounting tasks to send the messages across. But in order to have what we never had, we have to do what we have never done before in order to stay relevant.

“In the same line, perhaps the state government should also consider drastically developing our rural areas with adequate infrastructure and amenities since our reserves warrant it — wisely and prudently, of course,” he added.

On a call for Masing to be removed as party president, Andy described it as “uncalled for and premature”.

“We regret that the call was made indiscriminately and wished it had not happened. Our president (Masing) was elected by our party members and shall stay status quo.

“It (call) is not relevant because it intrudes into our internal affairs, and for goodness sake, it best be recalled,” he said. — DayakDaily