Time will come for GPS to pick sides on national front, says Abang Johari

Posted on : 09 Feb 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (second left) joined by (from right) Chieng, Uggah and Sim cut the cake to mark the celebration.

SIBU: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has conceded last night that although the state coalition is now independent, a time will come when it has to pick sides on the national front.

The Chief Minister, however, said that when that day arrives, GPS will not rush into making its stand, stressing that the coalition would always put Sarawak’s interests first.

“Now people are wooing us in their quest to remain prime minister or to be the next prime minister. They all claim Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is with them.

“We in Sarawak are independent. We do not take sides but when the day comes for the national interests, then it is time to decide.

“We have to decide properly after careful study,” he said this when addressing Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Chinese New Year gathering at Sibu Civic Centre here last night.

Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Housing and Local Government Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technology Research Dr Annuar Rapaee, organising chairman Dato Chieng Buong Toon and Sibu Resident Charles Siaw.

Last Wednesday, Abang Johari stressed that GPS is not involved in any move to form a new political coalition called Pakatan Nasional as widely speculated.

He said as an independent coalition, GPS has no involvement or affiliation with any political party in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Only today (Wednesday) we read a national daily lumping us together with them (peninsula political groups). We are not involved. We are independent GPS.

“We just observe what is going on over there (peninsula). I don’t know how they (speculators) arrived in putting us in the move (to form a new coalition),” he told a press conference after chairing a GPS Supreme Council meeting.

The chief minister was referring to an article by a columnist in a national daily, who wrote that the political chatter surrounding what some have termed as a ‘reshuffle of government’ was growing louder, with speculation that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was contemplating a shake-up of his government before the next Parliament sitting.

The report claimed that Muafakat Nasional partners PAS and Umno formally support Dr Mahathir to give his government the ‘Malay legitimacy’ that Pakatan Harapan needs.

The report also claimed that 79 MPs from Umno, PAS and GPS have signed a statutory declaration to give Dr Mahathir the mandate to do the necessary, and that apart from 27 Bersatu MPs, Dr Mahathir also has the support of eight MPs from Parti Warisan Sabah and 15 from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Lau (second left) receives his re-appointment letter from Abang Johari as (from left) Sim, Siaw and Chieng look on.

During the gathering last night, Abang Johari also assured Sarawakians that he will put Sarawak interests first as long he is in GPS.

“I can tell you as long as I am in GPS, I will fight for Sarawak interests first before other interests. What is important is we strengthen ourselves,” he said.

During the function, Abang Johari presented appointment letters to 17 community leaders and ‘ketua kaum’ in Sibu.

Among them were Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau and Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce who received their re-appointment letters.