KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was formed because Sarawak must stand on its own, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He asserted that GPS, being Sarawak-based, is the best political platform for Sarawak to move forward politically, socially and economically.
He believed that because the coalition is not subject to any political master from outside they would be able to defend Sarawak’s right as partner in Malaysia and develop the state in its own ways.
Abang Johari, who is GPS chairman, noted that when the component parties of GPS – Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) – were in Barisan Nasional before – they could not do much because every decision was made based on consensus.
He lamented that when it was based on consensus the Sarawak-based parties could not prevail over the other parties in Malaya because they were the majority (more Malayan parties).
“Now that we are standing on our own feet, we can decide on our own, we can speak with boldness and without fear when we talk with Kuala Lumpur regarding our rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). In order for us to stand on our own feet, we must be strong. GPS is already strong, but we want to strengthen it,” he said in a Town Hall Session of the GPS seminar organised by GPS Kuching Zone 1 here yesterday.
Abang Johari said the decision to leave BN and form GPS was made in the interest of the people and Sarawak above all else.
He said the new coalition would enable the ruling party in Sarawak to focus on Sarawak interests and rights based on MA63.
He reiterated that the formation of GPS would empower the leaders and the Sarawak government to serve the people better in line with the aspirations and fulfilling the desires of the people of Sarawak.
He believed that under GPS, which is now on its own, they are able to bring Sarawak into the new era as desired by the people of Sarawak.
“Now we have our own voice. We make decisions pertaining to the development of Sarawak without having to seek for approval from Kuala Lumpur. We have our own ways of developing our own land and our state for the prosperity of all Sarawakians,” he said.
The Town Hall Session was moderated by Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Supply Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.