KUCHING, June 15: United People’s Party (UPP) will continue to support Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to lead the state, regardless of whether UPP will eventually join the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government or not.
Its secretary-general, George Lo, said his party was not in the position to decide whether it would join the newly formed coalition because GPS had yet to be registered as a political entity with the Registrar of Societies.
Furthermore, UPP had yet to receive a formal invitation from GPS to join the four-party coalition.
“It would not be appropriate for us at this point in time, without knowing the actual framework and structure of GPS, to say whether we want to be in the coalition. If they were to send us an invitation, definitely we will bring the matter up with our central committee.
“However, we pledge full support to the administration of Abang Johari, regardless of whether our party is formally in GPS or not,” he told reporters at the Chief Minister’s Hari Raya open house at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.
On June 12, Sarawak’s four ruling parties — Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) — pulled out of Barisan Nasional (BN) to form GPS.
With UPP scheduled to hold its triennial delegates conference (TDC) on July 7, Lo said matters pertaining to joining GPS would be brought up with the delegates if the party were to receive an invitation from GPS before then.
“If we receive an invite, we will definitely put this up at our delegates’ conference, which is the highest decision-making body in the party, for a decision.
“But once GPS is registered, we also have to look at the structure and its constitution in respect of accepting new component members. We need to see whether acceptance depends on the recommendation of any one component party or is it subject to consensus of all members,” said Lo.
Lo said he could not see any reason for UPP to not support GPS, as the party had always been friendly with Sarawak’s governing coalition since its (UPP) formation in 2014.
UPP is also part of the state cabinet, with party president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and Deputy President Datuk Dr Jerip Susil holding the posts of Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce and Assistant Minister of Transportation respectively. — DayakDaily