- The new coalition now holds 19 parliamentary seats, leaving BN with only 60 seats
By AZREEN HANI / Pic By BERNAMA
Barisan Nasional (BN) has been totally ousted from East Malaysia after Sarawak component parties decided to leave the alliance and form a new state-based coalition called Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
The unanimous decision was made by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg after meeting leaders from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) in Kuching yesterday.
BN was also defeated by newly formed state-based Parti Warisan Sabah in the recent general election.
“The decision was made after much deliberation, reflection and due consideration, taking into account the country’s political development post-GE14 (14th General Election),” the parties said in a joint statement.
“We believe it is timely and appropriate for Sarawak to embark on a new political platform going forward, in order to face any challenges in line with the changing aspirations, needs and demands of the Sarawak populace.
“The decision was made in the interest of the people and the state, above all else,” the statement read.
GPS will cooperate and collaborate with the federal government for national interest, and state rights and interests based on the Federal Constitution and the Federation of Malaysia.
The coalition stressed that it will protect the interest of all Sarawakians in an inclusive manner and enable these parties to focus on Sarawak rights and interests based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“We strongly believe that the formation of this new coalition will enable and empower us to serve the people better, in line with the aspirations and desires of the people of Sarawak. We are confident that this is the most pragmatic and appropriate decision to bring Sarawak into a new era desired by the people of Sarawak,” it added.
On May 31, Abang Johari became the first BN state leader to meet Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya post-GE14, sparking wild speculations that Sarawak parties are considering to leave BN since the coalition’s inception in 1973.
Sarawak BN recorded its worst performance in the May 9 polls by losing 10 seats to Pakatan Harapan, marking the end of BN’s fixed deposit status in the state.
With the dissolution of the 44-year-old alliance, GPS now holds 19 parliamentary seats, leaving BN with only 60.
Sarawak’s decision to leave BN means the alliance that had governed the country since independence 61 years ago has now been reduced to just governing Perlis and Pahang.
Pakatan Harapan rules Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor. PAS governs the two East Coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu, while Parti Warisan Sabah ousted BN in Sabah.