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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Sept 21: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) are partners to ensure political stability but it does not mean the former will allow Bersatu to contest in the State.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said while Malaysia practises a democratic system whereby registered political parties have the right to campaign anywhere in the country, those involved in politics including Perikatan Nasional (PN) must understand the feelings and interests of Sarawakians.
“You have to understand why GPS was formed and how Sarawak wants a party of its own to look after the State. That is why even though PN is our friend, we will not support other parties from Malaya (to come into Sarawak),” he said at a press conference in Baitul Makmur 2 building in Kuching today.
He was echoing Universiti Malaya’s Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi who recently said that the GPS coalition is expected to contest in all 82 seats in the 12th Sarawak State election and will not give any away to PN.
New Straits Times reported that Dr Awang Azman was commenting on Bersatu Sarawak chairman Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian’s recent statement saying that PN’s presence in Sarawak was to strengthen GPS’s position in the State.
Abdul Karim, who is the State Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture and State Minister of Youth and Sports, explained that GPS is supportive of PN in Parliament as well as in forming a government but it must be understood that the Sarawak coalition is not part of PN.
“The formation of the previous government was PN plus GPS. It is not GPS inside PN. Just because we are partners of PN at the federal level, it does not mean that PN is part of GPS in Sarawak.
“You (Jaziri) better check (the facts) whether we are part of PN. We (GPS and PN) are working together as partners in the formation of the government at that time, partly because we want a stable government and we want to ensure stability so that we can focus on managing Covid-19 pandemic.
“That is why we are supportive (of PN) but this does not mean that in Sarawak, we are going to accept you just like that. You can be our friend but the moment when the election is near and suddenly you start setting up liaison offices in the State, we (GPS) will become suspicious of what you want. After this, the next step, are you going to tell us ‘we want some seats’?” he questioned.
Abdul Karim also urged new political parties such as Bersatu, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and others, to learn from United Malays National Organisation (Umno) who had always respected Sarawak’s stance to be managed by local-based parties.
“You should learn from Umno. Of all the States in Malaysia, Umno respects Sarawak. That is why we don’t see Umno in Sarawak out of respect for local parties in Sarawak. In that sense, we respect Umno. Therefore, new political parties such as Bersatu, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and others, should learn from that. Don’t split us up,” he added. — DayakDaily