Saturday, October 31

Listen to coalition partners or see another downfall – Masing


By Peter Boon

SIBU: A repeat of ‘Pride before Fall’ that led to the downfall of BN and Umno, could well hit Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) comes 2021, if voices of smaller coalition partners are not heard.

In this respect, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing stressed that GPS and its leaders must be good listeners.

He said GPS could suffer the same fate, if PBB is too dominant and refuse to listen to input from its smaller coalition partners.

“For GPS to fight Pakatan Harapan (PH) comes 2021, GPS must be seen by all Sarawakians as having a meaningful power sharing in term of civil service, political positions, and board of directors in government-linked companies.

“GPS and its leaders must be good listeners. GPS especially PBB does not take too kindly to its partners’ suggestions to better GPS as a political organisation. This was what happened to Umno prior to the 14th general election (GE14). I suggest we learn from history.

“Our inputs and our criticisms are for the betterment of GPS and are put forward in all sincerity for the good of our organisations,” he said when gracing the Extraordinary Delegates’ Conference (EDC) here on Saturday afternoon.

Reiterating the importance of learning from history, Masing pointed out that BN concept was correct, but implementation was faulty.

“That lead to the downfall of BN and Umno which had ruled Malaya and later, Malaysia for 61 years. It is a case of Pride before Fall.

“GPS could fall to the same fate, if PBB is too dominant and refuse to listen to input from its smaller coalition partners. Pride before Fall can be repeated comes 2021,” he said.

Masing, who is Deputy Chief Minister II, again recalled how under the BN concept – all members had equal say irrespective of the size of its coalition partners.

“Anonymity was the name of the game. The principles were correct, but the implementation was faulty. It was too dominated by Umno – the big brother.

“Masing said that the smaller parties felt that they were being made used by Umno, and that their voices were ignored over some decisions, especially prior to a general election.

The chairman of Umno decides on who are the candidates for other BN parties. This was not correct. Who knows better than the party themselves. Moreover, the decision on BN parties’ candidates was decided on the eleventh hour by BN chairman.”

Adding on, he said GPS must be a coalition of pure Sarawakian based parties, adding “this is our strength on compared to PKR, DAP and Pre Bumi parties”.

He noted all these are Peninsular-based and only listen to their Malayan-based bosses when making decisions for Sarawak.

“While GPS decisions are made by Sarawak for Sarawakians. Thus, our policy is Sarawak First or ‘Utamakan Sarawak’.”

He said those in PKR, DAP and Pre- Bumi could not use this war cry, because their bosses are all ‘orang Malaya’.

After GE14, PRS, PBB, SUPP and PDP quit BN and formed GPS.