Malaysia: 4 parties in ruling pact to become one, CM hints

  • The chief minister has for the first time hinted that the four-party state ruling coalition, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), could eventually merge into a single party.
  • Abang Johari Openg, when asked at a special media conference in conjunction with his third anniversary in office if the other three parties – Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) – are all on the same wavelength with his party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) in their move forward, said they are and “eventually we will be under one”.
  • He emphasised the word “eventually” a second time, saying it would not be so soon.
  • The new party, if it becomes a reality, would retain the Gabungan Parti Sarawak name, he said.
  • Abang Johari also adopted a cautious note, saying he doesn’t know if the four parties would even merge to form a single party.
  • In 2018, Deputy Chief Minister and president of PRS James Masing floated the idea following the coalition’s, then known as the Sarawak Barisan Nasional, exit from BN following its defeat in the general election.
  • Masing in a memo to Abang Johari prior to GPS’ first presidential council meeting on 18 Jun 18 suggested the four parties shed BN’s battered image, disband and then reform as single multiracial party.
  • Masing stated there should be a “metamorphosis” of the former Sarawak BN parties as the 2018 elections showed that a communal-based party no longer appealed to Malaysian voters.

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