KUCHING, June 12: Sarawak’s ruling parties — Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) — quit the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition today.
PBB president Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made the announcement after chairing the state BN supreme council meeting at PBB headquarters in Jalan Bako here.
He also announced the formation of a new coalition called Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), comprising the four parties.
Abang Johari, who is also chief minister, told a press conference that the decision was agreed upon unanimously by all heads of the four component parties, namely himself, Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian (SUPP), Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing (PRS) and Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing PDP).
“The decision was made after much deliberation, reflection and due consideration as well as taking into account the country’s political developments post-14th general election (GE14).
“GPS will cooperate and collaborate with the federal government for national interest, state rights and other interests based on the Federal Constitution and the Federation of Malaysia.
“We believe that it is timely and appropriate for the State of Sarawak to embark on a new political platform going forward in order to face challenges in line with the changing aspirations, needs, and demands of a very wide range of cross-section of the Sarawak populace. Sarawak is uniquely a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religion state,” he said.
Abang Johari revealed that the new coalition, which would be independent from Pakatan Harapan (PH), would enable the state government and its component parties to focus on the state’s interests and rights based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), stressing that it would still work together and collaborate with the federal government of the day for the benefit of Sarawak.
He believed GPS would enable and empower the state government to serve the people better.
“Indeed, we have long considered our diversity as our greatest asset in progressing and developing as a successful and peaceful state, and, therefore, it is incumbent upon us all Sarawakians to continue to nurture and protect our values, living in peace and in harmony, and comfortably among one and another.
“We will protect the interest of all Sarawakians, regardless of the size of the community in an inclusive manner. This aspect is indeed not only our pride but also our joy as Sarawakians. Hence, the decision was made in the interest of the people and the state above all else.
“We are confident that this is the most pragmatic and appropriate decision to bring Sarawak into the new era as desired by the people of Sarawak,” he said. — DayakDaily