KUCHING: Sarawak Barisan Nasional's component parties have decided to pull out of the former ruling coalition to form a new state-based pact.
Chief Minister and PBB president Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced the decision after chairing a meeting of the four party leaders on Tuesday (June 12).
"The component parties of Sarawak Barisan, namely PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP, have made a unanimous decision to leave Barisan to form a new coalition of Sarawak-based parties, known as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
"The decision was made after much deliberation, reflection and due consideration, taking into account the country's current political developments post-GE14," he told reporters after the meeting.
Abang Johari said GPS was not joining Pakatan Harapan but would "cooperate and collaborate" with the Federal Government for the national interest and state rights based on the Federal Constitution and the Federation of Malaysia.
"We are not joining the Pakatan coalition. We will have our own bloc and we will remain in the Opposition in Parliament," he said.
Moving forward from GE14, he said, it was "timely and appropriate" for Sarawak to have a new political platform to face the challenges ahead in line with the changing aspirations, needs and demands of Sarawakians.
"We will protect the interests of all Sarawakians, regardless of the size of the community in inclusive manner.
"Hence, the decision (to leave) was made in the interest of the people and the state above all else.
"Our new coalition will enable us to focus on Sarawak interests and rights based on the Malaysia Agreement," he said.
Abang Johari added that the formation of GPS would enable the parties to serve the people better.
"We are confident that this is the most pragmatic and appropriate decision to bring Sarawak into the new era desired by the people of Sarawak," he said.
He thanked Barisan for the cooperation and success of the past, but said Sarawak now had to move in a new direction, in line with the country's new political situation.
After this, he added, the new coalition would inform Barisan, the Registrar of Societies as well as the Speakers of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly and Parliament of its decision.