BANTING, April 15 — After pushback from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) supreme council member Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said that while her party supports GPS in the state, matters relating to candidacy for the 15th general election (GE15) is up to the leadership of Perikatan Nasional (PN).
The Ampang MP and housing and local government minister is currently on the receiving end of flak from GPS leaders over recent comments.
In a report by Malaysiakini, this comes after Zuraida suggested that Bersatu may contest in Sarawak under the GPS banner in GE15.
“We support GPS in Sarawak. As for candidacy, we shall leave it to the top level,” Zuraida said after a work visit here.
Malaysiakini reported that the strongest resistance came from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who said that there was no room for Bersatu in Sarawak.
He however said that GPS still supports the Bersatu-led PN government, and would manage the issue “properly”.
“PN was established for the sake of stability with the support of GPS. We also hope that PN will reciprocate when we are facing our state election,” he said.
PBB Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu added that GPS and its component parties comprising PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP would contest all 82 seats in Sarawak, adding that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has left it to Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, who is also the GPS chairman, to decide on the seat arrangement for the state polls which are due in August.
“Bersatu is not a member of GPS. Do not come to Sarawak and simply claim things.
“It would be good for her (Zuraida) to first understand the need of the people for more fire stations, people-centric housing schemes and allocation to local authorities so that the Sarawak region is on equal footing with the region of peninsula Malaysia,” he was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.
Meanwhile, Piasau PBB Bersatu Chief Sardon Zainal claimed that Zuraida had misunderstood her conversation with PBB leaders during a recent meeting.
Sardon said that a discussion was held between PBB’s Tupong assemblyman Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman and Pengerak Komuniti Negara Sarawak chairman Nurhanim Mohsen, but there was nothing about allowing Bersatu to contest under GPS.
“She misinterpreted or misunderstood the talk between Fazzrudin and Nurhanim Mohsen... when she made the statement recently in Kuching.
“They met, yes, and talked about infrastructural facilities, basic needs and social problems in the Tupong area, that’s it.
“Fazzrudin never touched on allowing Bersatu to use GPS to contest in the next election. Zuraida’s statement is baseless,” Sardon was quoted as saying by Sarawak Tribune.
During a working visit to Sarawak on Monday (April 12), Zuraida claimed that Bersatu may be contesting under the GPS ticket in the state election to avoid confusion among Sarawakian voters.
She was reported saying that the party wanted to make it easier for Sarawakians to make their choice and to support the federal government.
“We understand that in Sarawak, god-willing, if Bersatu contests, we will contest under GPS ticket in the state election,” she was quoted as saying by Astro Awani.
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