Abang Johari speaks to the media after chairing the GPS meeting. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (July 15): Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will not be sending its election machinery to help its federal allies to campaign in the peninsula state polls, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The GPS chairman said however Sarawak will assist the unity government via its members in the federal cabinet instead.

He said he had requested GPS MPs to give support to its federal allies at the six states through their official duties as ministers and deputy ministers.

“We have discussed (about) the six (peninsula) state elections, and during the nomination day we will send our reps to various states. As you know, we are the component of unity government, and we are part and parcel of unity government component parties.

“And as a result of that, we have a duty also to give support to unity parties in the six states. We have five ministers there, five full ministers and six deputies ministers.

“We have requested our ministers there to perform their official duties, to give the support to our unity component parties over that side,” Abang Johari told a press conference after chairing the meeting at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

Nomination for the peninsula polls is set on July 29.

Abang Johari acknowledges that although GPS is not involved in the peninsula polls, it would not mind helping because it wants to ensure the current federal administration is stable, adding that this would attract more foreign direct investment coming into the country.

“During nomination day, we will be sending out rep to various states. And the issues in peninsula Malaysia, we really did not know actually.

“But what we want to emphasise is that it is very important for us to have a stable federal government.

He also suggested that the theme for the Unity Government to be ‘Unite for the sake of Malaysia’s prosperity’.

“We have suggested this theme to our Prime Minister during our meeting in Kuala Lumpur (recently) because GPS is giving top priority to the question of unity, the stable government. That’s all,” he added.

Asked whether he had received any formal invitation from federal allies to help with the campaign, Abang Johari said he was “too busy managing Sarawak affairs”.

Reiterating GPS stance for Sarawak first, he said he could not spare efforts for any activities that conflicts with his priority overseeing the state affairs.

“We have our MPs there, so let them work on our behalf. We must remember that during this month we are busy with our (Sarawak) 60th independence day. If we are busy with other matters, at the end of the day we are the ones who forget to celebrate our own 60th independence day.

“And GPS priority is Sarawak first. We cannot just leave our own affairs, just because we want to busybody meddling with other matters. We here in the state is Sarawak first. Our ministers can represent us over there,” he said.

Earlier on July 2, Deputy Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi expressed hope that GPS would assist the party during the six state elections in Peninsular Malaysia.

Polling day for Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Selangor, and Negeri Sembilan will be on Aug 12.