PBB leader says no need to rock the boat with PDP-PRS merger proposal

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, April 23 — Any move to merge Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) with Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) will arouse suspicions within Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), PBB vice-president Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Hamzah said today.

He said if a merger were to take place, it would also affect the already good equilibrium in the ruling GPS coalition, which consists of PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP as component parties.

“Why is there any need to rock the boat?” he asked during a press conference after chairing the Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Authority (IRSDA) working committee meeting here.

Karim, who is also state tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister, was asked to respond to PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s statement yesterday that PDP was open to PRS merging with any party in Sarawak, including PRS.

Tiong, who is also the federal tourism, arts and culture minister, was asked to respond to a call by Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) president and Julau MP Datuk Larry Sng for PDP and PRS to join forces after PDP had merged with Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).

Karim, however, said that PBB will accept any merger between a GPS component party and an Opposition for the good of the state.

“But if it is a merger between two parties in GPS, then the other two parties (PBB and SUPP) may start rising questions on the motive for a merger?” he asked.

“For the merger to take place, one must dissolve oneself as in the case of PSB and its members joining PDP,” he said, before asking if Tiong is prepared to dissolve PDP since PRS is a bigger party in terms of the number of state assemblymen and MPs.

Karim said that Tiong should not have responded to a call by Sng for PDP to merge with PRS.

Instead, he said the PDP president should have asked Sng to dissolve PBM and allow its members to join the PDP.

However, Karim said he doubted a PDP-PRS merger would ever take place, noting that Tiong did not appear to be insisting on it.