Sunday, May 22

PRS Youth disagrees with formation of Umno branch for Sarawakians in Johor

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KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth wing has questioned the rationale behind the proposal to set up an Umno branch for Sarawakians in Johor.

Its deputy chief Sempurai Petrus Ngelai in a statement said PRS Youth wing did not fully agree with the proposal by Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin although the intention might be noble.

“We believe in freedom of association to look after each community’s interests, but the issue here is whether this political party can give specific priority to Sarawak community or Dayak interests in particular.

“We have already set up PRS Club in Johor, which was launched in 2006. Some of our fellow component political parties from Sarawak also actively serve fellow Sarawakians here and are doing membership drive. To us, this (what the state BN components already did) is positive move to look after the interest of the Sarawakians in Johor.

“Therefore, any suggestion to form an Umno branch for Sarawak community or Dayak community in particular in Johor will definitely trigger grave concerns and mixed reaction from these Sarawak political parties,” he said.

He pointed out the political reality in Malaysia was such that almost all political parties in the country were race-based and looked after their racial group.

Although there were multi-racial political parties, in terms of political ideology and objectives, they were still run along racial lines by their dominant leaders, he stated.

“We know very well that Umno is Malay-based party in West Malaysia and for them to set up a branch for Sarawak community in Johor seems to be overlapping in terms of interest and priority.

“PRS on other hand is Dayak-based multiracial party and we definitely can look after their interest more effectively,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled, who is also Johor Umno Liaison Committee chairman, on Saturday proposed the setting up of an Umno branch for Sarawakians in Pasir Gudang parliamentary constituency where many people from Sarawak have domiciled.

A Bernama news report quoted him as saying the proposal would encourage the community to participate in politics to ensure their welfare and needs were well looked after.