By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, April 22: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi is puzzled how Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) can claim to be supportive of the Chief Minister but at the same time undermine GPS component parties.
“We see what they are going to do because now they seem to support the CM, who is the chairman of GPS, and yet they move on the ground and want to contest against our component (parties). So, I don’t understand how they are going to work on that.
“Let them explain it,” Nanta told DayakDaily today when commenting on recent reports that the party had been gaining momentum with a large number of new membership applications.
PSB president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh had revealed that following the rebranding of his party, formerly known as United People’s Party (UPP), it had received at least 19,000 new applications.
“With a new party name and logo, PSB is now more broad-based — both urban and rural — or even more rural-based,” a local daily quoted him as saying after he unveiled the new signboard for PSB’s head office in Pending yesterday.
Wong, who is Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce, also said PSB hoped to increase its Dayak members and, towards this end, had engaged in roadshows in Skrang and Engkilili, where 5,000 applications were received; Tamin and Kakus in Selangau (8,000 applications); and in Ngemah, Kanowit, where 3,000 people submitted their applications to join the party.
“This was followed by Krian, Saratok, where we also had about 3,000 people joining us. Next, we will be going to Marudi in Baram and then to Samalaju in Bintulu,” he said, adding that PSB was also looking at expanding its presence in Bidayuh areas such as Mambong.
Wong said currently, PSB had 26 branches with a total membership of 38,000, and this figure did not include the new members whose applications were pending approval from the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
“Our party, I must say, is growing from strength to strength,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nanta, who is also Kapit MP, said it was too early to tell whether PSB was going to have a head-on contest with GPS in the next state election, which is due in 2021.
“If they put up candidates against GPS in the election, of course, head on lah. But now they said they support the chief minister and also said they are fighting for Sarawak’s rights. So, I hope they will not put up candidates against us (in the coming state election).
“How can you say you support the chief minister and later on you may put candidates against GPS because GPS is going to stand in every ‘kawasan’ (constituency). I don’t understand that formula, so I can’t comment more than that,” added Nanta. — DayakDaily