Tuesday, August 16

GPS gears up for debut parliamentary polls

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Abang Johari (centre) speaks at the press conference flanked by Uggah (left) and PBB chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar (right) together with other supreme council members at PBB headquarters in Kuching today.

KUCHING (Aug 6): Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) parties have already been instructed to prepare their election machinery to face the 15th General Election, which will be the first parliamentary polls for the state ruling coalition.

GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah had been tasked with the party’s election machinery.

“Don’t ask me when the general election is going to be held, but PBB and its GPS allies will ready our electoral machinery to face the general election,” the Sarawak Premier and PBB president told a press conference after chairing the party’s supreme council meeting today.

Aside from PBB, the other component parties of GPS are Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

When asked about PBB’s candidates, Abang Johari said several incumbents had expressed their desire to make way for the younger generation and not to contest in the polls.

“For that, I am grateful because we have such culture in PBB, where incumbents will make way to give opportunities to the young people when the time comes,” he said, declining to share further details on the incumbents intending to withdraw themselves for the elections.

Abang Johari also voiced his confidence that the coalition will be able to achieve a clean sweep of all the 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak.

“Hopefully, there are no big hurdles (for us to win all the 31 parliamentary seats)…if based on our last performance in the state elections and also, GPS has been looking after the interests of Sarawak.”

Moreover, Abang Johari said the parliamentary election will be unlike any other elections faced by the state ruling coalition as it would be GPS first after its members left the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

“This is the first election not like any other before because GPS is now on its own. Last time we were under BN and now, this is the first time we are on our own.”

In the last general election in 2018, PBB won 13 parliamentary seats, SUPP one, PRS three and PDP two.

The current term of the Dewan Rakyat expires on Sept 16, 2023, but there had been talk that the 15th parliamentary polls could be held soon, possibly even before the end of this year.