Two Opposition parties open to joining Sarawak Pakatan

Cobbold John Lusoi said he will be writing to the state government and home ministry for the two communities to be accorded the native status. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, March 19 — Two local Opposition parties said they may consider joining the newly-formed Pakatan Harapan Sarawak (PHS) if it fits with their vision and agenda for the state.

Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) and State Reform Party (STAR), however, said they have yet to receive any invitation to join the Opposition coalition.

“Yes, we have no problem joining the pact, but first we want to study whether it is in the interest of Sarawak and the Dayak community for us to do so,” PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi told Malay Mail Online today.

PHS was officially formed today by the Sarawak chapters of PKR, DAP and Amanah after they reached an agreement on seat allocations for the next general elections.

Lusoi said PBDS Baru was more concerned with issues relating to Sarawak, especially on meeting the terms of the Malaysia Agreement, Inter-Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission and their recommendations, and the native customary rights (NCR) lands.

“Our top priority, therefore, are on these Sarawakian issues while other issues are secondary,” he said, referring to Pakatan’s calls to save Malaysia from the Barisan Nasional (BN) government over economic mismanagement and corruption.

Lusoi said there was no point for PBDS Baru to become a partner of PHS if its sole purpose was to topple the BN government while disregarding the interests of Sarawak.

STAR president Lina Soo said STAR was willing to work with PKR, DAP and Amanah if it was for the bigger picture.

“Our stand is we are prepared to ally with any opposition party in Sarawak which has common agenda and vision with us,” she said, adding that it was PHS’ prerogative to extend an invitation to other Opposition parties as partners.

Soo said STAR was waiting for a formal invitation from PHS, if one was forthcoming.

“Surely the coalition of three parties would have plans to invite other opposition parties if they have sincere intention,” she added.