KUCHING, Sept 16 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Sarawakians today to replace ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) with Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the upcoming state election.
He said this is to ensure that there will be close cooperation between the state and federal governments if they are under the same coalition, since PH is currently governing Putrajaya.
“It is important that in the coming state election, we change the state government of Sarawak so that it is ruled by Pakatan, where Bersatu will play a major role,” Dr Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, said in his address to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia members here.
He said Sarawak voters had in the past normally elected the Barisan Nasional at the state level, because it was the same coalition with the one that was governing at the federal level.
“Therefore, the cooperation between the state and federal governments then was stronger and more successful.
“But because of the change of government at the federal level after the last general election, Sarawak found itself in an unusual position, that is, it is no longer ruled by the same party as at the federal government,” he said.
“Therefore, the cooperation between the state and federal governments now is not as strong as expected by the people.
“If we want to see a close relationship, it is important that in the coming state election, we change the state government so that it is the same coalition that rules both the state and federal governments,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also asked Bersatu to work its PH partners PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara, in Sarawak to ensure victory in the state election.
“If we are alone, it is not possible for us to win. We need to join forces with our partners, which in the old days used to oppose us.
“But whether we like it or not, we have to work with them to ensure that Pakatan stands a good chance of winning,” he added.
Dr Mahathir asked state Bersatu members to be prepared to accept any decisions made by the top leadership.
“When we make decisions, which will be eventually accepted by the majority, the minority must give their support,” he said.
“I hope in Sarawak, if we are united and disciplined, we will succeed in our struggle,” he said, adding that he wants Bersatu members to support the other component parties in the state election.
“If we don’t support them, and likewise, they don’t support us, Pakatan will lose in Sarawak,” he said.