Saturday, July 20

Meeting between Abang Johari and Ahmad Zahid didn’t take place as alleged – Idris


Datuk Idris Buang

KUCHING: The supposed meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Umno acting president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi prior to formation of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), apparently did not take place as alleged by the latter.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) in a statement issued by information chief Datuk Idris Buang today, has categorically denied the occurence of any meeting or discussion between Abang Johari who is also PBB president, and Zahid who is now the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman.

“There was no such meeting. There was no such discussion,” said Idris, who said he is one of the authorised spokesmen speaking on behalf of party president Abang Johari.

“Our party president had clearly announced that the intention of leaving Barisan Nasional and form Gabungan Party Sarawak instead, is a mutual deliberate act done purely upon one reason, that is for it (GPS) being the only group of credible and capable Sarawak-based parties that could effectively fight for Sarawak’s rights,” he added.

The statement was issued following a video now viral in the social media purportedly depecting Ahmad Zahid telling an unidentified audience that he had a meeting and discussion with Abang Johari regarding the latter’s intention to form GPS and leaving BN.

Ahmad Zahid was heard saying in the video that he had given his views and agreed to the formation of GPS in order to win the next state election, and he even claimed that GPS would continue to work together with BN and even come back to BN if it is able to form the federal government again.

This contrasted with his earlier statements that he rejected claims of pleading with PBB not to leave BN and that news of PBB leaving BN was beyond his knowledge.

Idris said as far as GPS is concerned, it would move on as a united front, and it is independent in every aspect of its existence and disposition in its own right. He even said that GPS is ‘completely divorced’ from BN.

“It is well comprehended that the interests of Sarawak and its people including its constitutional right and those as stipulated in the Malaysian Agreement of 1963, cannot be undermined or prejudiced in any way even by being merely ‘perceived’ as having a relationship with any Semenanjung-based parties.

“Therefore, GPS, being a group of purely Sarawak-based parties who presently made up the state government, will be free from any ‘outside or extraneous interference’ whether by former allies or foes, in any of its affairs and decisions.

“It is ‘completely divorced’ from Barisan Nasional. Period. Neither speculation nor conjectures could change that fact. It is self-standing and master of its own destiny. It will be steadfastly focused and uncompromising in it’s effort to take back Sarawak infringed rights and that it will do without fear or favour,” he said.

He added that for GPS, most of the issues that significantly affected the performance of BN in the recent 14th General Election (GE14) had nothing to do with those in Sarawak, such as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), China’s investment and so on.

He pointed out that Sarawak-based elected members under the leadership of Abang Johari have immaculate and exemplary track records as a responsible Sarawak government and they continue to do well in dedicatedly serving the people.

“Our paramount and most important priority now is to make sure Sarawakians of all background will continue to be served and their basic needs particularly those in the rural areas are addressed in the best way.

“So, leaving our former pact, is therefore a natural thing for us to do in order to be neutral to all the political firestorms that are now happening across the South China Sea. We just concentrate with ensuring the well-being of Sarawak and its people are well-kept and improved to a much greater level,” he said.