KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is allowing conversation to take place on the applications by two MPs to join the coalition before he makes a decision.
In stating this political scientist Professor Datuk Dr Jayum Jawan of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) is confident the Premier would decide whether to accept or reject their applications when the time is right.
The Premier has been keeping mum about the issue as he is listening and allowing discourse among his lieutenants, and that is very ‘general-like’, as it should be, he added.
“I am certain that Abang Johari will make his decision when the time is right on whether to accept or reject the applications of Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin and Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang to join GPS,” he told New Sarawak Tribune.
Jayum was commenting on Willie’s application to join Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and Jugah’s bid to return to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
Willie has claimed that he did not join any party, but merely placed under Bersatu in order to provide backing to the government at that time.
Meanwhile, Jugah has rejected Parti Bangsa Malaysia’s (PBM) invitation as he is not interested in joining the party.
Abang Johari, who is also PBB President has remained silent on the issue despite several PBB leaders having made their opinions known, including PBB senior vice president Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, who said that GPS leadership has to consult with its grassroots first before making any decision.
Meanwhile, PBB vice-president Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Willie’s application to join PBB reflected the latter’s confidence in the party.
He also said Willie would be a winnable candidate in Puncak Borneo, however, he must be reminded that PBB has its own culture as well.
Jayum said GPS accepting Willie and Jugah into the fold would not be a big deal, however, allowing them to stand as candidates later could be an issue and may undermine party loyalty and solidarity especially on PBB’s Pesaka side.
For this reason, he said, if they are accepted for whatever reasons used to justify that, they were unlikely to be nominated to defend their respective seats.
“If Willie is accepted, he would be joining the Pesaka side … and the Pesaka leaders have been very cautious about it, thus no serious statement has been heard thus far, except some general ones (statement),” he added.
Jayum said both MPs, including Jugah, who was once a PRS leader, were seeking to join and return to GPS as they realised that Sarawakians were very confident with the leadership of Abang, especially the Dayak and Chinese.
“The Dayak and Chinese voters swung back to the ruling coalition in the 12th Sarawak state election in December last year. So, it looks like they are very confident with GPS and Abang Johari,” he said,
“So, PBB or GPS is a prized party and coalition if Willie or Jugah can get in there, but if they are not accepted, they are likely to look for others that will accept them as they need stronger party support in elections,” he said.