Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders have pushed back against Bersatu supreme council member Zuraida Kamaruddin after she suggested that her party may contest in Sarawak under the GPS banner.
The strongest pushback perhaps came from PBB vice-president Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who declared there was no room for Bersatu in Sarawak.
"There was a lot of talk on the recent issue of Bersatu standing in our state election under the GPS ticket but, as far as we are concerned, there is no room for them to do so because the state coalition had already identified its candidates to stand in all the 82 seats," he said in a statement.
However, Abdul Karim said GPS still supports the Bersatu-led Perikatan Nasional (PN) and will 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.
Meanwhile, PBB Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu maintained that GPS components comprising PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP will contest in all 82 state seats in Sarawak.
"Bersatu is not a member of GPS," he was quoted as saying by Borneo Post.
Rentap added that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has left it to Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, who is also the GPS chairperson, to decide on the seat arrangement for the state polls which is due in August.
"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 Sarawak region is on equal footing with the region of Peninsular Malaysia,” he was quoted as saying.
Zuraida, who is also the housing and local government minister, had during a working visit to Sarawak on Monday claimed that Bersatu may be contesting under the GPS banner.
"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.
Piasau PBB Bersatu chief Sardon Zainal, meanwhile, claimed Zuraida had misunderstood what was conveyed to her by PBB leaders who had met with her.
Sardon said that a discussion was held between PBB’s Tupong assemblyperson Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman and Pengerak Komuniti Negara Sarawak chairperson Nurhanim Mohsen, but there was nothing about allowing Bersatu to contest under GPS.
Pengerak Komuniti Negara is an organisation linked to Zuraida, comprising many former PKR members who defected with Zuraida to Bersatu.
“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.