PRS chief says can’t stop members from party-hopping after veep quits

Masing today said he cannot stop PRS members if they want to leave and join another party. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Masing today said he cannot stop PRS members if they want to leave and join another party. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, March 7 — Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Masing today said he cannot stop party members if they want to leave and join another party as in the case of its former vice president Datuk Masir Kujat.

“People are free to move in accordance with their whims and fancies. All political parties are subjected to this freedom of movement.

“People are free to jump from one political party to another,” he added when asked about Masir’s move to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).

Masir, the Sri Aman MP and a former deputy home affairs minister under the Barisan Nasional government, tendered his resignation from PRS yesterday.

Masing, who is also a deputy chief minister, said during his term as PRS leader, he had helped many of “my boys” to be in the right positions of importance and advised them on what needed to be done as leaders.

“One thing of paramount importance is to be grateful to the institution or person for helping them. As human being, we all have conscience. It is the measure of who we are,” he said, adding that he could tell them the meaning of service to the community, but he could not tell them to be grateful.

Masir said in a statement earlier today that he believes PSB is a truly multiracial party that can unite all races in Sarawak.

Among the former PRS leaders who have followed Masir’s lead and joined PSB are former Selangau MP Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun, former Lubok Antu MP Datuk William Nyallau Badak and Richard Wil Uban.

Separately, the PSB secretariat said the party is ever ready to work with like-minded persons who believe in its struggle and share a similar sense of belonging.

“With this in mind, PSB welcomes leaders from other parties to become its members,” it said in a statement.

The secretariat said PSB will continue to support Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg as chief minister of Sarawak.

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