Sunday, June 16

‘Only 3 nods to allow GPS accept new party’


Abang Johari strikes the gong to officiate at the ceremony, as Wong (third right) looks on. Also seen (from right) are Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, PSB secretary-general George Lo and its Youth chief Dr Johnichal Rayong Ngipa.

KUCHING: A new party can be accepted into Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) when three out of its four current partners agree to it, reiterates Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

GPS was formed after the May 9 general election, which marked the end of Barisan Nasional’s reign as the nation’s ruling coalition for more than 60 years.

The four partners in GPS are Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

“It’s not like in Barisan Nasional, which was based on consensus,” Abang Johari told reporters after officiating at the opening of United People’s Party (UPP) extraordinary delegates conference here yesterday.

Asked if GPS would extend an official invitation to UPP after the latter had passed the resolution to change its name to Party Sarawak Persatu (PSB), Abang Johari – also GPS chairman and PBB president – remarked: “At the moment, what I can say is that we will cross when we meet that bridge.”

Asked further if he had any plan to bring PSB into the coalition, he responded: “I will inform you later.”

On whether or not UPP had ever applied to join GPS, Abang Johari suggested that the question be directed to UPP leaders.

On the official launch of GPS logo, he said the Sarawak’s ruling coalition would hold its meeting on Jan 9 next year.

Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari expressed his hope that the rebranding of UPP to PSB would bode well with GPS, and for it (PSB) to be able to work together under the same objectives with other political parties in the coalition.

He said on a common platform, the ruling local-based parties must work together to protect Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, and also those enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution.

“Our common objective, of course, is we want that rights to be returned for the benefit of the people of Sarawak within the context of Malaysia. If Sarawakians could be happy, Malaysia would be happy (as well).

“With that, I hope the new, rebranded party would forge together for us to achieve our political objectives.

“I wish PSB all the best; although the resolution has not been passed, but I believe you will pass it,” he said.