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GPS needs to win big for Sarawak to have strong voice in parliament: State premier

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) needs to win big in Malaysia’s 15th General Election (GE15) to ensure that the state has a strong voice in the federal parliament, said coalition chairman and Sarawak premier Abang Johari Abang Openg.

According to Mr Abang Johari, GPS does not have political affiliation with any parties from Peninsular Malaysia and thus needs to have a strong voice in dealing with the federal government.

To negotiate with Putrajaya, “our voice must be strong,” he was quoted as saying by the Borneo Post at an event on Wednesday (Nov 16). 

“We in GPS are already on our own; we have no political affiliation with people over there,”  added Mr Abang Johari.  

He pointed out that with only 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak, GPS cannot form the federal government even if it wins all the seats.

However, he said, no single party or coalition in the peninsula would likely win more than half of the 222 parliamentary seats needed to form the federal government. They will thus need to rely on GPS for support.

“So, whoever wants to work with GPS, they must know what to do for Sarawak.

“Because of that, we must send all the 31 GPS candidates to parliament. When we are strong, we can continue to fight for Sarawak’s rights,” stressed Mr Abang Johari.

He added that it was because GPS had a strong voice in parliament that they were able to amend and gazette changes to the Malaysian Constitution that include the recognition of the rights of Sarawakians and Sabahans. 

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