‘New coalition needs to be sincere in its struggles to remain relevant’
KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) needs to ensure its struggles are really for the people if it hopes to remain relevant in the eyes of voters, opined an academician.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak ( Unimas) Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty lecturer Dick Lembang Dugun said leaders of GPS also need to change their approach in serving the people.
“The people of Sarawak will be more receptive if GPS’ struggle is for the people and not meant to save the leaders from the ‘political tsunami’ that took place in the recent 14th general election ( GE14). It is not impossible that such tsunami can happen again in the 2021 state election.
“It should be remembered that the Barisan Nasional ( BN) brand or name was not disliked by the people but that it was the bad practices and poor governance by BN leaders which caused voters to reject BN in GE14,” he said here yesterday.
As such, he hopes GPS will learn from what had happened to BN, and prove to others that GPS is not ‘old wine in a new bottle’ or just a change of skin for leaders formerly from BN.
Dick said that elected representatives, or YBs, are now expected to serve their constituents as ‘ Yang Berkhidmat’ (the one who serves) instead of ‘ Yang Berhormat’ (the honourable).
This is because arrogance and ego associated with certain YBs caused their downfall due to their refusal to listen to their constituents, he added.
On another matter, Dick opined that another challenge faced by GPS will be promoting its soonto-be unveiled logo to Sarawakian voters, especially die-hard BN supporters in the rural areas.
He said the reality was such that many rural voters are so used to BN’s ‘dacing’ (scale) logo after decades of BN ruling the country.
“This would be challenge for GPS to convince the rural voters to familiarise themselves with the GPS logo before the coming state election,” he said.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Datuk Patingggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the dissolution of Sarawak BN and the formation of GPS, which has yet to be registered with the Registrar of Societies.
Abang Johari had refuted the suggestion that the disassociation of the four component parties – PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP – from BN to form GPS is similar to putting ‘old wine in a new bottle’.
He pointed out that although GPS is a replacement of Sarawak BN, the two entities are not the same because their direction would be different.
Abang Johari said GPS would remain as an opposition at federal level but would collaborate with the Pakatan Harapan ( PH) -led federal government because of the federal system practised in the country.
Meanwhile, PBB veteran Dato Peter Minos said the creation of GPS will see Sarawak politics detached from the Kuala Lumpurbased politics and from the past BN mistakes and misdeeds.
“GPS is now free and not encumbered in struggling for Sarawak. There is no Umno and KL- based control breathing on GPS’ neck. All GPS has to do now is to be friendly with PH and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and fight for Sarawak rights,” he said.