Sarawak political parties, NGOs form new coalition


(Front row, from right) Fong, Engga, Soo, Bobby and Leong in a photo call with other Gasak pro tem committee members.

KUCHING: Three local parties and two non-governmental organsisations (NGO) yesterday announced the formation of a new political coalition called Gabungan Anak Sarawak (Gasak).

Its pro tem president Bobby William said Gasak was set up as an alternative to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Pakatan Harapan (PH), and comprises leaders from Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak (Aspirasi), Sarawak Workers Party (SWP), Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S), Sarawak Independence Alliance (SIA) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB).

“The decision to establish Gasak was made after our third meeting here yesterday (Sunday). The main aim of forming this alliance is to avoid contesting against each other in the next state election,” he told a press conference here yesterday, attended by Gasak pro tem committee members.

He said those in Gasak plan to contest in all 82 state seats and will field their respective candidates in seats they have identified.

Bobby, who is president of the deregistered PBDSB, said the group had invited Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) to attend the third meeting but no representatives from the party showed up.

On the current status of PBDSB, he said the party, which was deregistered in June last year, had submitted an official appeal to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) last  year but had yet to receive any word on its reinstatement.

In the event that Gasak is not registered and PBDSB is not reinstated in time for the state election, candidates from PBDSB, S4S and SIA will contest using either the logo of Aspirasi or SWP, he added.

“That is why we really hope RoS will register Gasak so we can become an official coalition to lead our group in the coming state and parliamentary election.

“Of course, we also hope that the RoS will reinstate PBDSB as soon as possible so we can be a legal partner in Gasak,” said Bobby.

Those in the Gasak pro tem committee are SWP acting president Captain (Rtd) Engga Unchat as deputy president; Aspirasi president Lina Soo (chairman); Aspirasi deputy president Buln Ribos (secretary); S4S chairman Alex Leong (treasurer); and David Munan, Fong Pau Teck, Simon Tiong, Sai Malaka, Jeffrey Liew, Tan Kok Chiang, Chan Chee Hiong, Anyai John and Hugh Lawrence Zehnder (pro tem committee members).