PPBM, PAS to sit out state polls, says Sarawak deputy CM

PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang have given their assurance that they will not contest the Sarawak elections. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: PPBM and PAS have decided to sit out the coming state elections, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing said today.

In a statement, he said PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had given their assurance of this as both parties had branches in Sarawak.

“This assurance not only clears the way for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to fight the opposition head-on, it is also a good sign that Perikatan Nasional (PN) component parties respect and honour their commitment to assist GPS when state elections are called,” he said.

Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, said GPS which comprises Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and PRS was preparing for the fight against the opposition.

This includes DAP, PKR and Parti Sarawak Bersatu.

Masing’s comments come in the wake of a two-hour meeting in Putrajaya yesterday attended by Muhyiddin, PPBM secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Hadi, MCA president Wee Ka Siong and MIC president S Vigneswaran.

Masing had also attended the meeting, along with Abang Johari Openg (PBB), Sim Kui Hian (SUPP), Tiong King Sing (PDP), Maximus Johnity Ongkili (PBS), Joseph Kurup (PBRS) and Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR).

The meeting came amid intense debate over the opposition’s candidate for prime minister in the next general election.

Masing said Abang Johari, who is chairman of GPS, had made it clear that the coalition supports Muhyiddin as prime minister.

“In spite of PN being a loose coalition of 12 political parties, all heads of political parties present agreed that he would lead the charge come GE15 and that by virtue of being the leader, would become prime minister upon winning the war.”

He said this augured well for PN come the next general election, unlike Pakatan Harapan which he said was plagued by the dispute over whether to name former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim or Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal as its prime minister candidate.

Despite some technical matters within PN, he said, the component parties were held together by their common objection to DAP being part of the coalition.

He also urged MCA to strengthen itself to fight for the Chinese community.

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