SIBU, July 13 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh is leaving his position as state minister of international trade and e-commerce in the hands of delegates at the party’s annual congress.
He said his resignation would be the only honourable way out because the Cabinet post is for the party and not for him personally.
“Since the state leadership has cut off the arms and legs of our party, I am of the opinion that I would have no moral locus standi to represent the party in the state Cabinet,” he said in his speech at the congress today.
He claimed that PSB’s political growth “must have made some component parties in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) very unhappy” despite pledging loyalty to and support for Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg.
“They may have felt threatened and have put pressure on the chief minister to impose measures to side-line us by cutting us off from the appointment of councillors and government agencies.
“GPS has also taken steps to freeze all minor rural project funds and rural transformation project funds. Instead of being part of the state government, we are now treated as Opposition members,” Wong complained.
He accused GPS of suddenly turning hostile against PSB, after the party accepted some of the coalition’s former party leaders.
“We did so with good intention of strengthening not just our party but also indirectly helping GPS in the event of these leaders choose to join the opposition,” he said.
Wong, who is also the state’s second finance minister, added the launching of PSB branches in various areas and recruitment of new members is to enable the party to serve more people particularly the rural community.
He said these areas may have belonged to some component parties of GPS, but added that he does not see wrong in what it is doing.
“After all, in the constituencies currently held by PSB, there are likewise GPS parties actively pursuing and trying to take over, for example, in Bawang Assan, Dudong, Engkilili and Opar,” he added.
Wong said he suggests GPS may have viewed PSB’s recent rapid ascent in both size and popularity as a threat to them, which prompted the former to take drastic action against the latter and treated it as a distrusted outsider.
“When people treat me unfairly, my general attitude is to fight back very hard,” he said, quoting Donald Trump in the US president’s book The Art of the Deal.
“Indeed, PSB will do likewise, we will fight back very hard, we will not want to be the appendages to any party,” Wong said, appealing to all PSB leaders and members to remain calm.
“Our road ahead of us is very wide and our future is going to be very bright.”
On the resignation of PSB deputy president Datuk Dr Jerip Susil from the party two days ago, Wong said the resignation did not come as a shock to him.
“For some time now, whenever he was with me, his body language somehow showed it all — he has not been with PSB for quite some time.
“What shocked me is how he could take photos with us with our arms locked pledging to sink and swim together and signed an agreement to profess that he would not jump ship regardless of any offer of benefits or posts.
“And on the very day, he resigned from the party, he totally ignored and did not honour a signed agreement.
“Any political leader who does not stand by his principles will lose all iota of credibility,” Wong said, adding that Dr Jerip, who is also assistant minister of transportation, left with reasons only best known to himself.
“As far as PSB is concerned, he has been consigned to the political oblivion,” he said, before adding: “In politics, we rise with opportunity, but we need wisdom to exit. It is most dishonourable for him to leave us in that dishonourable manner. There is no political integrity and credibility.”