Ridiculous for PSB president to seek Sarawak CM’s advice to leave, says Masing

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing.

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing says it is ridiculous for Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Wong Soon Koh to ask the chief minister to decide whether he should step down from his post in the state administration.

“He’s old enough to decide for himself,” he said when met at the PRS Gawai Dayak closing ceremony here today.

He said Wong should have read the writing on the wall “a long time ago” when funds for minor rural projects (MRP) and the minor rural transformation programme (MRTP) were cut off from PSB.

He said another warning sign was when PSB representatives were excluded from the new line-up for the state’s 24 local councils.

Yesterday, Wong said he would seek Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg’s advice on whether he should quit his position in the state Cabinet.

“You know the appointment of ministers is the prerogative of the chief minister. Even if I want to leave, I would have to seek his advice as to when and how I leave the Cabinet,” he had said.

Wong said he also believed that none of the PSB representatives was included in the list of new councillors because the popularity and size of his party were increasing, posing a threat to the other Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties.

“I don’t understand why GPS suddenly considers us its enemy.

“We have only recruited several leaders from GPS component parties who have either been sacked from their party or resigned from their positions.

“We did this with good intentions, which is to strengthen not only our party but also indirectly help GPS by preventing these leaders from joining the opposition,” Wong said.

However, Masing said GPS had to defend itself following PSB’s actions in encouraging members of PRS and other GPS component parties to join it.

“He takes joy in taking our members and that’s not a friendly gesture.

“We are not being unfriendly. We are defending ourselves from the attacks by PSB.”

Masing said if PSB cut its ties with GPS, it would not make the coalition any weaker or make any difference to them.

In May, it was reported that Masing had wanted Wong and PSB deputy president Dr Jerip Susil to be dropped from the state administration.

Although PSB is not part of GPS, Wong was appointed as Sarawak’s second finance minister while Susil is the assistant transport minister.

On Saturday, Susil, who is now an independent assemblyman for Mambong, had announced his resignation from PSB with immediate effect.

PSB has its origins in the United People’s Party, a splinter party of the predominantly Chinese Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

SUPP is a component party of GPS, along with Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and the Progressive Democratic Party.