GPS will have bargaining power if it wins all 31 seats in GE15 | Wbactive

Abang Johari believed bargaining power would allow Sarawak to require the federal government to commit to more equitable development and recognize its right under MA63. – Bernama photo

KUCHING (November 18) – The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will have plenty of bargaining power if it wins all 31 seats in tomorrow’s general election (GE15), Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

The GPS chairman believed bargaining power would allow Sarawak to demand that the federal government be committed to more equitable development and recognize its right under the 1963 Malaysian Agreement (MA63).

“Today I will honestly tell you that Sarawak is the most stable state in Malaysia and its economy is strong. Because we are strong, there are people who want to ask GPS for help.

“That’s why I’m fielding our candidates to contest all 31 seats. Today GPS is on everyone’s lips as a kingmaker. Even today, the national media reported that Sarawak and Sabah will be kingmakers in this election because there is still no clear indication which coalition will win the most parliamentary seats in the peninsula.

“GPS will negotiate with any national coalition that wants to form a federal government. If they want to work with us, we want power returned to us through the report of MA63 and the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC).

“We want all our eroded powers to be brought back to us,” he said in his speech while officiating at the launch of the Sarawakku Sayang program in Saratok today.

Abang Johari also said Sarawakians should not give way to peninsula-based political parties as only GPS understands the struggle and feelings of Sarawak people.

“If the deputy is from PN, the person could not do their best, since all decisions in the peninsula would have to be referred to their boss.

“If the MP from GPS comes, the people of Sarawak can make the decision. We will negotiate for Sarawak,” he said.

Abang Johari explained that the peninsula’s political culture is very different from Sarawak, noting that GPS has no political affiliation with local political parties because he wants to defend Sarawak’s culture, which embraces diversity.

“That is why I have said repeatedly that we must protect our culture by opposing Peninsular Malaysia-based parties such as Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan.

“I’m sorry if there are people from the Peninsula who are present in that capacity and listening to me. If you are here, we can work together in the interests of Malaysia, but Sarawak’s culture must be protected,” he said, adding that peninsular political parties should not interfere in Sarawak’s political affairs.

“Tan Sri Muhyiddin became prime minister because of us. Without us he would not have been appointed Prime Minister. A similar situation also occurred a year later when Umno refrained from supporting Muhyiddin. Ismail Sabri then became prime minister because we supported him. Chaos will continue in federal politics if there is no GPS,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that a true leader only fights for his people and not for personal interests.

“Personal interests don’t count in this general election when it comes to national issues,” he said in an offhand reference to Datuk Ali Biju defending Saratok on a PN ticket in GE15.

“Whether it’s good or not is up to him, but the nation cannot rely on personal interests,” he added.

On the proposal to have a Deputy Prime Minister from Sarawak after GE15, he said GPS would not accept the post if it was just a ceremonial role with no real power.

“To what end if the post has no real power. No point… no point. Sarawak doesn’t want that. Sarawak wants to return all powers under MA63 to Sarawak.

“What we need is a post with certain powers. Otherwise it becomes cosmetic,” he said.

Abang Johari also urged Sarawak voters to give their full backing to the GPS candidates in GE15.

“If we remain united and continue to provide our children with the best education and preserve our natural resources, I am confident that Sarawak will be the most developed state by 2030.”

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