Not all 4 ex-BN parties agreed to form GPS in Sarawak

Abang Johari (center) with state component party leaders who made a joint decision to quit Barisan Nasional. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Not all the four Sarawak parties which quit Barisan Nasional (BN) recently agreed to form a coalition, and at least one of them was not happy with the announcement by Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.

A source in one of the component parties told FMT that party leaders had instead proposed the formation of a single party instead of being partners under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

“We wanted the four parties, PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP, to be dissolved and later merged into one party. But our proposal was rejected by PBB,” the source told FMT.

The source said the party had no choice but to agree with the formation of GPS in the name of solidarity with the other three partners.

“In light of current political developments, it would be suicidal to go it alone”, the source added.

Abang Johari, who is PBB president, said the decision to leave BN was made after “much deliberation, reflection and due consideration”, in light of the developments in the aftermath of the recent polls.

Abang Johari said GPS would cooperate with the PH-controlled federal government on national interests and state rights under the Federal Constitution.

Soon after the May 9 election, SUPP was the first to declare that its position in BN would be reviewed, before Abang Johari met Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad late last month.

Meanwhile, PRS president Dr James Masing had declared that his party would “swim or sink with BN” while PDP leaders had stayed mum over the matter.

The formation of GPS comes as the four parties in power in Sarawak try to consolidate their popularity, ahead of state elections which must be called in 2021.