Wednesday, February 1

New political coalition to be launched in two months



KOTA KINABALU: The United People coalition, or Gabungan Rakyat, formed mainly by several political parties in Sabah and Sarawak, is expected to be launched in two to three months.

Its pro tem chairman, Phillip Among, said more than seven political parties have attended the meeting called by United People and agreed, in principle, to form the coalition.

Phillip, who is also the acting president of Malaysia United People’s Party (MUPP), said the coalition would be duly registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS), which required a minimum of seven political parties to officially register the alliance.

“We want the United People to be the second formal alliance with a common symbol in Malaysia after Barisan Nasional (BN) was formed more than 50 years ago.”

He said the United People was in the midst of drafting its vision, policy and constitution, with hopes to launch the coalition in the next meeting in two to three months.

“We are enroute to making the grand alliance,” Phillip said after the second meeting of the alliance here yesterday.

Present at the meeting were People’s Alternative Party (PAP) vice president Santokh Singh, PAP secretary general David Dass and PAP international secretary Balachanthar, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) deputy president Patrick Anek Uren, Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah (Perpaduan) president Jack Giau, State Reform Party Sarawak (STAR) president Lina Soo and Parti Sejahtera Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah (SAPU) president Abdul Banning Mohd.

PAP is a Malayan-based political party while STAR and PBDS are Sarawak-based.

Phillip said the United People aspired to become a formidable alliance not only for the next general elections, but for elections to come.

“Our primary objective is that we want to give Sabah and Sarawak a chance to be heard in the Parliament and control our State Legislative (Assembly) by our local parties.

“We are not stopping any parties from Malaya to be in Sabah and Sarawak, but we want to stop their monopoly and arrogance which they have shown in this part of Malaysia.”

He added that the United People wanted Sabah and Sarawak to be well-represented in the Parliament and address critical issues, such as Sabah and Sarawak’s status in the Federation of Malaysia as well as violation to the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“If we are in the Parliament, we will table the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Protection Bill so that the agreement will be protected infinitely.”

Asked if local parties like Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) will join the coalition, Phillip said the United People would definitely invite local parties to be part of the alliance once it was established.

“These people (local parties) are very established. They want to see that everything is ready, perhaps then they will consider. We respect them.

“We will cook the food and share with everybody.”

He said the United People was an inclusive alliance so long as the political parties subscribed to the spirit of unity.

David added that the coalition hoped to bring changes not only to Sabah and Sarawak, but also Malaya.

“If everything goes well, we will see a new Malaysia.”

United People’s first meeting was held on April 24 this year and was attended by Perpaduan, MUPP, Parti Kebangsaan Sabah, Parti Gagasan Bersama Rakyat Sabah (Bersama) and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS).