KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will maintain the status quo in its seat allocation for the 15th General Election, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The GPS chairman said the coalition’s four component parties would stick to the same seats that they contested in the previous election.
“For GPS it is easy because we are one team. Sarawak first,” he said, referring to the GPS slogan.
Abang Johari, who is also Sarawak Premier, was speaking to reporters after chairing a GPS supreme council meeting here on Tuesday night (Sept 13).
GPS consists of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).
In the 2018 General Eelection, when the four parties were contesting as the then-Sarawak Barisan Nasional, PBB fielded candidates in 14 of Sarawak’s 31 parliamentary seats, SUPP seven, PRS six and PDP four.
The four parties pulled out of Barisan to form the state-based GPS following Barisan’s defeat in GE14.
Abang Johari also said GPS would start making preparations to face GE15, including getting its election machinery ready.
He said this was one of the matters discussed in the supreme council meeting, which was attended by the top leaders of all four parties, including chiefs of their women’s and youth wings.
“Although we don’t know when the election will be held, we will set up our machinery.
“We want a strong voice from Sarawak for us to play our role at national level,” he said.
However, he refused to be drawn on whether the election would be held this year.
“We just prepare. If you are going to face an exam, you would start preparing two years ahead,” he said.
Abang Johari also said GPS would continue to fight for several outstanding matters under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 discussions to restore the special rights of Sarawak and Sabah.
These include restoring 35% of parliamentary seats to both Borneo states as well as administrative empowerment to manage health and education.
“The restoration of 35% of parliamentary seats has been agreed in principle, but it has to be discussed in the federal Cabinet and further action has to be taken if they agree,” he said.