KUCHING (SNN) – Datuk Patinggi Abang Joahri, the Chief Minister of Sarawak announces that the local political parties, led by PBB, quit the coalition party, Barsian Nasional (BN) late in this morning in Kuching. The unexpected defeat of BN at the federal level in the General Election on 9 May, has put its partners in Sarawak in quandary for weeks now. Many people in town were of the impression that being an opposition would put Sarawak in a rut.
The Chief Minister was flanked by Tan Sri James Masing, the President of Parti Rakyat Sarawak; Datuk Dr. Sim Kheng Hui, the Chairman of Sarawak United People Party;Datuk Tiong King Sing; President of Parti Demokratik Progresif; Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Datuk Amar AWang Tengah Ali Hasan were the Deputy President of PBB.
Few understand that in a federal system actually each state has its own autonomy that the federal goverment must respect and adhere to whatever the consitution permits. This includes allocating annual budget as stipulated in the constitution. And this is not some new in the coutry as Kelantan, Pulau Pinang, Selangor and Trengganu have been in the opposition for decades. In a way this is how federalism is suppose to function.
This is a brave decision that Abang Johari has to make and shows his true mettle as the leader of the largest state in the country.
Below is the full Press Statement read out by Abang Johari this morning.
- The Component parties of the Barisan Nasional Sarawak, namely; Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), have made an unanimous decision to leave Barisan Nasional (BN) and to form a new coalition of Sarawak-based party known as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
- The decision was made after much deliberation, reflection and due consideration, taking into account the Country’s current political developments post 14th General Election (GE14). GPS will cooperate and collaborate with the Federal Government for national interest and state rights and interests based on Federal Constitution and the Federation of Malaysia.
- We believe that it is timely and appropriate for the State of Sarawak to embark on a new political platform, going forward, in order to face challenges, in line with the changing aspirations, needs and demands of a very wide range of cross-section of Sarawak populace. Sarawak is uniquely a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religion State.
- Indeed, we have long considered our diversities as our greatest asset in progressing and developing as a successful and peaceful State and therefore it is incumbent upon us all Sarawakians to continue to nurture and protect our values, living at peace and in harmony, comfortably among one and another. We will protect the interest of all Sarawakians regardless the size of the community in inclusive manner. This aspect is indeed not only our pride but also our joy in our lives as Sarawakians. Hence, the decision was made in the interest of the people and the State above all else.
- Our new coalition will enable us to focus on Sarawak interests and rights based on MA63.
- We strongly believe that the formation of this new coalition will enable and empower us to serve the people better in line with the aspirations and fulfilling the desires of the people of Sarawak.
- We are confident that, this is the most pragmatic and appropriate decision to bring Sarawak into the new era desired by the people of Sarawak.
Date: 12 June 2018