KUCHING (June 9): Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi does not rule out the possibility of it supporting fellow coalition members in the Unity Government during the campaign in six state elections in Peninsular Malaysia.
He acknowledges that while GPS is not directly involved in these polls, it would not mind helping since Sarawak is ‘friendly’ to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, now its ally at federal level.
“GPS is part of the whole coalition of the federal government, where other parties in the federal government are contesting in the six state elections.
“GPS will not go there (the peninsula) to campaign. For whom would you want to campaign for?
“But if I were to be campaigning for friends, yes. For example, as a minister, if there were to be programmes related to my ministry, so I would be there as a minister,” he said when asked whether GPS would help its federal allies during the campaigning in the six state elections in Peninsular Malaysia.
Nanta, who holds the Works Minister portfolio in the Federal Cabinet, was present for an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post and its sister dailies Utusan Borneo and See Hua Daily News, here today.
Adding to his comments, Nanta said the situation would depend on the leadership of the GPS, which had yet to come with any firm decision on the matter.
“This depends on the decision of the leadership to help with the campaign (of the state elections in peninsula); we would help, but as (far as) I know, we have not come to the final decision on what we would do,” he said.
He stressed that whether it was Barisan Nasional (BN) or PH, there was nothing wrong for him to support either, ‘as long as they are friendly to GPS at federal level’.
“It’s not wrong to help, because we (GPS) are friendly to PH as a coalition partner. For me, there’s nothing wrong if you want to help.
“To me personally, no issue if GPS wanted to help to campaign for parties under the Unity Government,” said Nanta.
On another issue, Nanta dismissed any allegation about GPS’ intention of toppling the Unity Government, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He regarded such claim, if any, as ‘unfounded’, in view of the present federal government being made up of 148 MPs, a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
“Want to overthrow the government? We also read in the newspaper and heard that the opposition is trying to overthrow the government. What we hear about overthrowing the government is a continuous effort by the opposition, I think.
“But whether the government will collapse or not, we need to look at the numbers (numbers of MPs). Can the coalition partner make that move? I don’t see that unless all coalition partners apart from PH, then it might fall because PH only has 82 seats.
“But even if the opposition partnering with the coalition’s partner parties, BN has 30, GPS 24, GRS six and not all partners want to get out of the government, not all coalition partners wans to get out of the coalition,” he said.
Nanta said GPS leaders, including Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and himself, had repeatedly made it clear that GPS’s only focus was to put the country’s economic and people’s well-being back on track.
He also said their priority was political stability, not politicking.
“GPS has been consistent in one thing – a stable government – so that we can carry out our economic recovery plan.
“Too much politicking is not good for the country. That is why GPS has been very consistent.
“That’s why right from the beginning we don’t mind teaming up with PH, even though during the election campaign they were the ones who wanted to kill us,” he said.
He also did not rule out the possibilities that many individuals might want to topple the government.
“I can only speak for GPS, GPS not going to do that, not going to rock the boat, we are not known to rock the board either.
“But I cannot speak for other parties, but what I can see is that maybe some individuals or some small groups, maybe, they have an agenda, we don’t know,” he added.
He also said that GPS backing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister did not mean that it (GPS) would give way to PH or any Peninsular-based party to contest in Sarawak. GPS only has a working relationship with PH.
“That is why I said GPS is not a component of PH, we are only a coalition partner for this government. We are not part of PH because PH comprises PKR, DAP and Amanah.
“Like the previous administration where we worked with Perikatan Nasional (PN). We don’t mind to be a coalition partner in the current federal coalition, because by being a coalition partner, we can help to ensure stability and we can push our Sarawak agenda.
“I can say we have no issue working with them for the good of the country.
“But politically when the election comes, yes we will fight. That is why DAP is not part of the Sarawak government. They are still our opposition. This is nothing new in Sarawak because we also had something similar like this when Tan Sri Leo Moggie led the Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS). They were BN’s opposition in Sarawak but in federal, they were part of the allies,” he added.