Thursday, June 27

Thousands witness historic GPS launch

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Abang Johari (fourth left) leads the gimmick that marks the launch of GPS. With him on stage are (front row, from right) Awang Tengah, Uggah, Masing, Dr Sim and Tiong.

KUCHING: Thousands of flags bearing the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) logo could be seen in and around the Indoor Stadium at Petra Jaya here last night, which was packed by over 7,000 members and supporters of Sarawak’s ruling coalition.

The throngs of people – comprising members of GPS component political parties Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) –  were at the stadium to witness Sarawak adding a new chapter to its history – the official launch of GPS. Many were there as early as 6pm yesterday.

Abang Johari smiles after officiating at the GPS launch.

Speaking at the event were Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who is also GPS chairman and PBB president; Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing who is PRS president; Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian who is SUPP president; and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who is PDP president.

Prior to the launch, a live band performed various songs including the Iban hit ‘Berkikis Bulu Betis’, followed by a line-up of local singers who belted out many all-time favourites – giving this historic occasion a more festival-like feel.

A video montage of the ‘GPS Flag Rally’ were also featured, followed by the handover of GPS flag to Abang Johari by the participants of the convoy, which kicked off in Lawas on Jan 11 – travelling throughout Sarawak and  making several stops along the way, before it concluded in Kota Samarahan on Friday.

The performance by a choir – of which the members wore traditional costumes – singing the national anthem ‘Negaraku’, Sarawak anthem ‘Ibu Pertiwiku’ and the GPS rally song, reverberated throughout the stadium. It is learnt that the GPS rally song was composed by Narawi Rashidi.

GPS, with its slogan ‘Utamakan Sarawak’ (Sarawak First) unveiled its logo on Jan 9 at the PBB headquarters along Jalan Bako here – the logo colours define the coalition’s vision and mission.

The letter ‘S’ on the logo is made to resemble the ‘Kenyalang’ (hornbill) – symbolising that Sarawak and her people would come first and would be defended in accordance to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), as well as to Sarawak and Federal constitutions.

Everyone inside the stadium is either waving GPS flag or Sarawak flag – or both. Some of them have even brought along GPS banners.

Based on the ‘Anak-Anak Sarawak’ (Children of Sarawak), GPS is to lead and provide a direction for Sarawak in Malaysia; hence, the white background of the logo, which represents the fairness of the ‘Rule of Law’, while the colour black symbolises the pillar of the coalition to uphold its objectives.

The red reflects the supremacy of both Sarawak and federal constitutions.

The logo was designed by a Software Engineering student Voon Cherng Jyh, 20, who took home RM10,000 after winning the designing challenge.

Deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, GPS secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, cabinet ministers, as well as parliamentarians and assemblymen from each component party under GPS, were also present at the event last night.