‘GPS parties discussed which side to back’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 14 Feb 2020

MIRI: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) held a meeting to discuss which side of the federal political leadership to support, according to sources.

Top leaders of GPS components – Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples Party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak and Progressive Democratic Party – attended the meeting in Kuching a few days ago.

“GPS deliberated which side it should support at the national level.

“At the meeting they agreed that GPS will side with the federal coalition that will best protect the interests of GPS and Sarawak, ” a source said.

GPS, which has 19 MPs, was formed after GE14 when the parties broke away from Barisan Nasional following the coalition’s loss of Putrajaya.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg had declared GPS as “politically independent” but continues stressing that GPS is “Pakatan Harapan-friendly”.

The source said GPS would have to take sides soon at the national level.

“GPS will have to do so for political survival, ” the source added.

The current state assembly term expires in the middle of next year, and there is talk that snap polls will be called this year.

Meanwhile, in Kuching, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, a lawmaker from PBB, said there was no provision in the Federal Constitution, Houses of Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act or parliamentary Standing Orders on tabling a motion of confidence or of no confidence against the government or Prime Minister.

However, the Santubong MP said an ordinary motion could be tabled by giving notice to the Speaker, which would be classified as a private member’s motion and take a back seat to the government’s business.

“Under the Standing Orders, the daily functions of the government are to be given priority. The private member’s motion would continue to be stuck in the order paper daily but would never get the chance to be tabled and debated.

“Hundreds of such motions have ended up in Parliament records without being tabled and debated.

“Under the circumstances, I do not see how the motion could reach the debating stage in the Dewan Rakyat unless it was made by a minister. But which minister would want to table the motion, unless it is agreed by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet? Then it would become a government motion, ” Wan Junaidi, a former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker, said.

He also said that even if a motion of confidence was tabled, debated and voted upon, it would serve no purpose.

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