Grand Alliance wants UPP, Teras as members

Grand Alliance wants UPP, Teras as members Photo credit: FMT

Both SUPP and SPDP have stated officially that the rebels from their parties can go anywhere “but the seats they hold belong to us”. 

PRESS STATEMENT The proposed Gabungan Rakyat (GR), a Borneo-led grand alliance of opposition parties on both sides of the South China Sea, is extending an open invitation to the BN-friendly United People’s Party (UPP) and Teras in Sarawak to sign up as new members. If they sign up, they have to ditch their BR-friendly stand.

The nine BN Direct State Assemblymen, six of them from UPP and Teras, can remain in the Sarawak Government, if Chief Minister Adenan Satem wants to accommodate them, but in their personal capacity.

Another three BN Direct candidates – Gerawat Gala (Mulu), John Ilus (Bukit Semunja) and Miro Simuh (Serembu) – resigned from the Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) to contest in the seats which belong to SUPP and SPDP.

UPP and Teras would never be accepted by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) as membership requires consensus. Since the UPP and Teras leaders were formerly from the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), these two BN components parties would object to the inclusion of the breakaway parties in BN.

Both SUPP and SPDP have stated officially that the rebels from their parties can go anywhere “but the seats they hold belong to us”. The statement was a reference to the SUPP and SPDP seats being held by UPP and Teras leaders as BN Direct candidates.

The nine BN Direct candidates, as reported, want to join PBB but have been rejected despite PBB President and Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem viewing their bids favourably. The stumbling block is BN’s declared policy that no component party in Sarawak, as elsewhere, could contest more than half the seats in the State Assembly.

If PBB accepts the nine BN Direct candidates, it would end up with 49 seats i.e. 40 plus nine in the 82-seat Assembly.

The new maths doesn’t add up, as besides SUPP and Teras, the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) led by James Masing has publicly warned that it would not tolerate a situation where PBB has more than half the seats in the Sarawak Assembly. It’s a catch 22 situation.

If Adenan does indeed accept the nine BN Direct candidates into PBB, despite the objections from the other BN component parties, PBB will be left alone without a two-third majority in the State Assembly when push comes to shove.

The GR was not a power cartel like BN. Any party can join the grand alliance if a simple majority votes for their inclusion. However, to expel a party requires consensus.

In that sense, we are the reverse of BN.

The BN circumvents the democratic process by endorsing elite power-sharing and denying the grassroots meaningful participation in the electoral process. The GR too will share seats, but not among components parties, but individuals backed by professionally-conducted ground surveys.

GR seats will not belong to component parties but the individual as the law in fact holds.

Apart from Gerawat, John and Miro, PBB has also rejected bids from three UPP leaders’ viz. Jerip Susil (Mambong), Ranum Mina (Opar), and Johnical Rayong (Engkilili).  PBB has also rejected bids by Teras leaders viz. William Mawan (Pakan), Paulus Palu (Batu Danau) and Rosey Yunus (Bekenu).

 

Phillip Among

President, Malaysia United People’s Party (MUPP)

Pro-Tem Chairman, Gabungan Rakyat (GR, United People

 

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