KUCHING: Now that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has been registered, the path ahead is clear for the coalition of four Sarawak-based political parties to move ahead in what they may regard as a new era in Sarawak politics.
Their objective, of course, will be to win the next state election which is due in 2021.
GPS comprises Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), all of which quit Barisan Nasional after its defeat in the 14th General Election on May 9.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced on Monday that the Registrar of Societies (RoS) had approved the registration of GPS and that the official letter would be issued in the next few days.
Political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, a senior lecturer at Universiti Malaya, said the GPS registration showed that RoS under the Pakatan Harapan government was allowing equal opportunity on a level playing field for all political parties.
“GPS will be harping on local issues, like the Malaysia Agreement 1963, petroleum royalty and Sarawak autonomy to gain the people’s support and win votes in the next state election.
“This alliance will also try to prove that only local parties can understand Sarawak needs and problems,” Awang Azman told Bernama.
Another political analyst, Datuk Peter Minos, said GPS would first have to promote and propagate GPS among Sarawakians, especially the rural folk.
Secondly, “it has to erase Barisan from the people’s minds, although it is not an easy task, because Barisan has been around for a long, long time,” he said.
“Thirdly, GPS must get cracking now as there is no time to waste as the (state) election is coming in 2021,” said Minos, adding that he believed PKR and also DAP were out to topple GPS in the next state election although it would not be a walk in the park for them.
He said GPS should carry on developing and protecting Sarawak as well as get back the Malaysia Agreement 1963 powers and more money from Putrajaya and Petronas.