Sarawak minister confident voters will back GPS, says ruling coalition’s track record speaks for itself

GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi is confident that the voters will give the coalition a fresh mandate to administer Sarawak for the next five years. — Bernama pic
GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi is confident that the voters will give the coalition a fresh mandate to administer Sarawak for the next five years. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 ― Although Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was only established officially in 2018, the fact is the parties that form the political grouping have had an excellent track record in governing the state over many years.

In fact, the proven service track record of the respective parties ― Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) ― potentially serves as a big asset for the coalition to win big in the impending 12th state election.

GPS secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi is confident that the voters will give the GPS a fresh mandate to administer Sarawak for the next five years, despite the fact that it will not be using the Barisan Nasional logo as it left the coalition in June 2018.

“I do not want to predict how many seats we will be winning, but our track record is a huge asset, more so in the last two or three years when there has been a multifold of state projects,” he said in an interview with Bernama recently.

GPS will contest in all 82 state constituencies in the polls. 

As the individual who registered GPS and its logo himself, Nanta said although the use of the Hornbill logo may cause some confusion among voters, it was ‘nothing much to worry about’ as the people know who were the ones who were doing their jobs.

He said challenges expected may be focused on the ‘new faces’, but added it was inevitable that young and energetic candidates must be given the chance to contest. 

“They may be new faces, but they are no strangers to the people, and that is why they have been selected. I have contested five times (Parliamentary seat), won big thrice and won two more uncontested, but I have never been overconfident.

“It is better to be fully prepared and avoid overconfidence and complacency,” the Kapit MP said.

Nanta said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had given full focus to Sarawak's infrastructure and socio-economic development, both urban and rural.

Not merely empty promises, he said this has been proven with among others, the Upper Rajang Development Authority (URDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA), Northern Sarawak Development Agency (NRDA) and Sri Aman Development Agency (SADA) to uncover the potential offered by those regions and areas.

Meanwhile, Nanta, who is also Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, said Sarawak's struggle in claiming its rights as contained in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), one of which was to secure larger financial resources, was for the benefit of its people.

He said, for example, with the implementation of the five per cent sales tax on exported petroleum products, which enables Sarawak to get an additional RM3 billion a year, is channelled back to the people to help them.

“The people understand why we have been working hard in asking for our rights asking for this five per cent payment, so the government will use it for projects, to handle Covid-19, food baskets. Everything has been done,” he said.

Besides physical development projects, Nanta said during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to federal aid, the Sarawak government used a lot of its own funds to help those impacted.

In fact, he said the rapid rate of full vaccination in Sarawak prior to this was also contributed by the state government through its own funds to help the Ministry of Health (MoH) teams cover remote areas. ― Bernama

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