KUCHING, Aug 18 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh today urged Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to support the candidacy of former Parti Warisan Sabah leader Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to be the next prime minister.
He said the current situation presented a great opportunity for the country to have a leader from Borneo Malaysia for the first time ever.
“This is an opportunity not to be missed,” Wong, who is also Bawang Assan assemblyman, said in a statement.
He added it will also fulfill the dreams of Sarawak and Sabah to restore their rights according to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He urged the Sarawak ruling coalition to think carefully about whom it wished to support to form the federal government.
“GPS had abandoned Barisan Nasional (BN) in the wake of the BN defeat in the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018 and declared itself to be independent.
“Yet, in an about-turn, it is now getting back into bed with its former BN partners,” Wong said.
GPS chairman Datuk Abang Johari Openg has so far remained non-committal about who the coalition wants to be the next prime minister, but national news agency Bernama today cited Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar saying it has agreed in principle to nominate Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Wong said doing so shows GPS is not acting in the best interest of Sarawak.
“If GPS cares about Sarawak and its eroded rights under MA63, it should give its all-out support for an east Malaysian candidate to become the next prime minister,” he said.
Wong said PSB will support Shafie as an alternative prime ministerial candidate if Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not chosen.
He said PSB is of the view that the next prime minister should be from PH which was given the mandate in the GE14.
Wong said PSB has never wavered from its principles that the party that carries the mandate of the people is the legitimate government.
“That is why PSB has never supported the PN government unlike GPS which initially supported the PH government under Tun Dr Mahathir and then used its kingmaker votes to put the unelected PN alliance into power.
“PH still carries the mandate of the rakyat and on this ground, PSB will maintain its stand to support PH which is the choice of the people,” Wong said.