Will GPS get the people’s backing in Sarawak?

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg (centre) with leaders of the other parties who made a joint decision to quit Barisan Nasional last week. Will they be able to gain the support of the people? (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Getting out of Barisan National (BN) was relatively painless but will Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) be able to convince the people in the state to support it?

And can Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) that created GPS get Sarawak voters’ backing by the next state election due by 2021?

These are the questions that have been asked by many although Sarawakians at large understood why PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP severed ties with BN, said political analyst Peter Minos.

“People saw no point and no use keeping company with BN, especially Umno, after both were rejected by Malaysians and after the revelations of alleged misdeeds, abuses of power and many wrongdoing.

“Confidence and respect for BN have dissipated and gone. Thus, running away from BN by any right-thinking Malaysians was expected, even awaited,” he said, adding that PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP did the right thing.

Minos said now was the time to get GPS and its objectives to be accepted by Sarawakians as well as to get its symbols implanted in the minds of Sarawakians.

There is also a need to erase the negative memories of BN, he said.

“Not very easy but it can and must be done, the sooner the better. Delay in getting GPS legally registered and delay in launching and promoting the GPS idea and concept will see a cold response to the whole thing,” said Minos, who is also Kota Samarahan Municipal Council chairman and former PBB deputy publicity chief.

He said it would be a great move and a great way of introducing GPS to Sarawakians if it is officially launched by GPS leaders by simultaneously declaring that they would vigorously and steadfastly continue the fight for the full return of Sarawak power and rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) by a certain date.

They should also declare that rights over Sarawak’s oil and gas resources should be returned to the state by July 1 as previously fixed.

He said other important issues like solving issues surrounding the native customary rights (NCR) land, providing basic facilities and utilities to poor rural folk, generating jobs and incomes, creating businesses, reverting to English language and improving education must also follow.

“I think GPS will then get a good start and make an impact. GPS must succeed for the sake of Sarawak and its people,” Minos said.

Last Wednesday, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg announced that the four parties were leaving the BN after a partnership of 45 years following much deliberation and due consideration taking into account the country’s current political development after the 14th general election.