Sarawak DAP extends olive branch to GPS in bid to save PH

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says after a week of political turmoil, it now boils down to GPS and Warisan holding the key to forming the federal government.

KUCHING: Sarawak DAP is willing to make concessions and cooperate with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) for the interest of the nation, says its chairman, Chong Chieng Jen.

“In the interest of the nation, Sarawak DAP is willing to make concessions and work together with GPS to help preserve the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and prevent extremists from seizing power through their back-door operation.

“After a week of political turmoil in the country, it now boils down to two political coalitions, with GPS and Warisan holding the key to forming the federal government,” he said in a statement today.

Chong said he “shivered” at the thought of an Umno-PAS coalition becoming part of the federal government.

He claimed Umno and PAS were a combination of “kleptocrats and religious bigots” who would destroy the whole country.

“Our country is at the crossroads and GPS must make a decision to choose between going along with the coalition of Umno-PAS or preserve the progressive coalition of PH.

“I appeal to GPS leaders to put aside all past political differences and work together with PH to save our country from going down the path of destruction.

“On the part of Sarawak DAP, we are willing to make concessions and put aside all our differences to work together with GPS in the interest of our nation,” he said.

Earlier, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing said GPS would not support a coalition that includes DAP in the ongoing political crisis.

Masing said this was due to DAP’s “administrative arrogance”. For example, he said its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had announced that Sarawak would go bankrupt within three years when he came to the state last year.

“It was irresponsible of Lim as finance minister to say that. That, to us, it is administrative arrogance,” he said.

In addition, Masing said the national and Sarawak’s interests must also be taken into account.

On Tuesday, GPS had stated its support for interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead the country.

However, it would withdraw its support for Mahathir if Sarawak’s rights are undermined.

This includes the special rights for Sarawak entrenched in the Federal Constitution, in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which it said are strictly non-negotiable.

These special rights include immigration autonomy; rights to taxation powers like the imposition of state sales tax; port dues for state ports; royalty for minerals and timber; rights to natural resources including land; protection of the state’s boundaries which extend to the continental shelf of Sarawak; and the right to formulate the state’s own development plan and to declare its own development areas under Article 95E of the Federal Constitution.

It was also reported that GPS would meet in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to decide its position.