Abang Johari fields questions from reporters.

KUCHING (July 14): Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg believes Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) members will not object to the collaboration between the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) as it is for the betterment of the state.

The Sarawak Premier and GPS chairman said cooperation between the two parties will be discussed at the coalition’s meeting today, and he expressed confidence that the component parties will welcome the move.

“I don’t think there will be a problem,” he said when asked if GPS parties, particularly Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) will oppose the move.

“I must be sincere here…at least they (PSB) realised their mistake. They fought us during the election but now they realise we have delivered. I am a person who is not vindictive. It  means they (PSB) have accepted what we have been doing,” he told reporters after officiating at an event here today.

PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing and PSB president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday to formalise their parties’ collaboration.

The move is apparently not a GPS initiative but Abang Johari had been informed of it. GPS is made up of PDP, SUPP, PRS and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), where Abang Johari is president.

It has been widely speculated that the collaboration between PDP and PSB would lead to a merger between them but Tiong had played this down yesterday, telling reporters: “Bertunang dulu, nak kahwin belakang baru cerita (get engaged first, talk later about getting married). Step by step.”

Abang Johari also pointed out today that Wong had previously voiced his party’s support for GPS in developing the state.

“During the previous State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, Soon Koh had met me. To me, for the sake of the people and the state, if they want to help GPS, of course, it is okay to me. And if their members want to return to their original party, to me, it is open.

“So now they are collaborating with PDP, so be it. At the moment, there is no conclusion yet, it is just an MoU. They want to work with GPS, maybe start with PDP first, we will see. I will discuss with my friends (GPS parties),” he said.

Abang Johari made it clear that there would be rules applied to any party, which intends to join GPS.

He said GPS would have to see how things would unfold following the MoU signed between PDP and PSB.

Asked if the collaboration between PDP and PSB now meant that there were only two Opposition members left in the State Legislative Assembly, Abang Johari replied: “Ya. They said they want to support us and help in our development. With a more vibrant development, everyone will benefit.

“I have said that even though we have been categorised as a high income state, we want to redistribute the state’s wealth to the people through talent development and through infrastructure in PCDS (Post-Covid Development Strategy 2030).”

He added that people did not have to worry about the check-and-balance as GPS would fulfill this role.

The PSB president is currently the opposition leader in the State Legislative Assembly as his party has three seats. Two other opposition members are from DAP. The state legislature also has one independent assemblyman.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said GPS would also discuss its involvement in the polls in six states in the Peninsula during its meeting today.

“We are helping (the ruling government) but (we need to decide) in what way we help. That’s why we need to discuss,” he said.

He added that PBB senior vice president Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who is a deputy prime minister, would have to help with the election campaigns across in those Peninsula state polls.