Stay out of presidential council

Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) should stay out of a presidential council proposed by the prime minister.

The council which would comprise party leaders who are part of the Perikatan Nasional (PN)-led federal government is not suitable for GPS.

Universiti Malaya (UM) political analyst Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi thinks this is because GPS is not an actual member of PN but more of an associate.

“If GPS joins the council, then they will ‘lose their voice’, authority and political autonomy,” he told New Sarawak Tribune when contacted on Monday (Nov 30).

He was asked to comment on the remarks by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president during the third Bersatu annual general assembly held virtually on Nov 28, said that maybe it is time to form a presidential council that is made up of party leaders in PN, Barisan Nasional (BN), GPS and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.

“Eventually the issue of seat distribution in the Sarawak Election will arise and GPS may have to agree to contest under the PN logo.

“The other thing is that GPS may have to agree to give way to Bersatu and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) to contest in Sarawak as PN allies and this will affect the GPS seats,” said Dr Awang.

He said the issue of the establishment of the presidential council is on political motives and agendas for Bersatu to control other parties and make sure that Bersatu dominates PN despite their minority seat.

“So, it is irrelevant for GPS to be involved in this presidential council, as Sarawak elected representatives have raised the issue of ‘do not want to be a Malayan slave’, and on the issue of Sarawak’s autonomy and authority,” he said.