UPP to consult members before joining GPS

Sulok Tawie
UPP secretary general George Lo said the party’s triennial delegates conference on July 7 will provide the platform for members to air their views on the subject. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, June 25 — United People’s Party (UPP) wants to hear the views of its members before deciding if it will be part of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the new alliance that has replaced the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Borneo state.

UPP secretary general George Lo said the party’s triennial delegates conference on July 7 will provide the platform for members to air their views on the subject.

“We want to know what are their feelings towards GPS first,” Lo told Malay Mail today.

UPP is one of the five Sarawak ruling parties but was not part of the coalition.

Lo admitted that the party’s leaders, led by its president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, who is also the state Second Finance Minister, had preliminary discussion with Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg.

“We wanted to know more about GPS, like its structure, constitution and membership. We wanted to know where we would fit in,” he said.

Wong is retained to his ministerial post after he led his supporters exiting Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) in 2014.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu, SUPP, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) were component parties of the Sarawak Barisan.

After leaving the Sarawak Barisan, the four parties then formed GPS, leaving out UPP.

Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), an offshoot of PDP, said it may consider joining GPS after it has been formalised and registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

Teras acting president Datuk Peter Nansian said at this stage, it is too early to consider applying to join GPS as a member.

“We don’t know much about GPS so we rather wait until it has been registered,” he said, adding that Teras has not been approached to join the new coalition.

Opposition State Reform Party (STAR) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS Baru) have said they have not thought of applying for GPS membership.

“Now, Sarawak politics is so fluid so STAR will maintain a cautious stand. We are not clear what are their agenda and what is their constitution like,” STAR president Lina Soo.

PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi said he that “at the moment we don’t see any need to join the new grouping.”

Yesterday, Abang Johari had said that GPS membership would be open to other parties in Sarawak, not just confined to PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP.

He had also said that “applications have been received from other parties to join GPS”, but declined to disclose the names.