KUCHING, June 19 — Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) should replace president Tan Sri Dr James Masing if he lacks faith in the party and its allies’ ability to win the next state election, said a Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) vice president.
Masing previously said the nascent Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), formed by four Barisan Nasional breakaways, may lose to Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the Sarawak poll which is due by 2021.
“We cannot go to war half-heartedly. Surely he doesn’t have the Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban spirit, a famous Iban war cry to continue the fight as long as one is still alive, anymore,” Datuk Karim Rahman Hamzah said today.
Masing previously urged the state government to dip into its RM31 billion reserves to develop the state and prevent the sum from going to PH should it win the Sarawak election.
Karim, who is also the state tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister, said Masing’s fear was premature as there were still years to go before the election and ample time for PBB and GPS to prove its continued ability to govern Sarawak.
“This is reflected in the 2016 state election where we won 72 out of 82 state seats.
“Even in the 14th general election last month, when all other states in Malaysia fell like tenpin bowls, Sarawakian voters still gave their faith to local based Sarawak parties,” he said.
While conceding that he cannot predict the future, Karim said he was still confident that Sarawak voters would continue backing the GPS parties.
He also said he could not fathom Masing’s rationale for exhausting the entirety of the state’s reserves now simply due to a possible concern in the future.
“I grew up with my parents always telling me to be prudent in spending, to think of ‘rainy days’ and to always save money in my piggy bank,” he said, adding that he thought his children the same.
“Maybe Masing has a different outlook towards saving and spending. Definitely different people have different approaches towards spending and saving.