Reports by MAZWIN NIK ANIS, SHARON LING, JOSEPJ KAOS Jr and TARRANCE TAN Photos by ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE
KUCHING: Barisan Nasional hopes its long-time friends in Gabungan Parti Sarawak will enjoy a victory similar to what it experienced in Melaka, calling on the people of the state to give a strong mandate to GPS for the sake of stability.
Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said it is important to have a solid government for it to play its part in ensuring peace and prosperity.
“As a friend of many decades, we hope the wind (of success) from Melaka can be brought across the South China Sea to Sarawak.
“While Barisan will not be contesting in the state polls, GPS will have our support, morally and in spirit.
“We hope the people of Sarawak will continue to support GPS so that it will be able to form a strong government,” he said at a press conference.
Mohamad led a delegation of Barisan and Umno leaders to call on GPS chairman Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to officially relay the coalition’s support and its decision not to contest in the state polls.
“While we understand why they are no longer with us due to the change in the local political landscape, our support remains with our friends in GPS,” he said.
This will be the first time that Barisan will not contest in the Sarawak state election.
In previous elections, the coalition’s component members from the state such as Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Sarawak United People’s Party, Progressive Democratic Party and Parti Rakyat Sarawak would contest under the Barisan banner.
However, these parties opted out of Barisan after its loss in the general election in 2018.
Mohamad said that since the coalition will not be contesting, it will not allow the use of its “dacing” (scale) symbol to fish for support.
“We are not friendly nor do we support other groups or parties in this election. Our support is only for GPS,” he said.
On whether Barisan will be helping in GPS’ campaign, Mohamad expressed confidence in the latter’s strong and well-oiled machinery.
“They have been running many elections and GPS’ machinery is well known for its efficiency.
“If they want our help, we will always be ready to lend a hand but for now, we will not help in the campaign,” he said.
Mohamad also hopes the Election Commission will come up with appropriate standard operating procedure for the campaign period, noting that physical or face-to-face campaigning is still necessary.