GPS will be part of unity government, says Abang Jo

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will be part of a unity government in compliance with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's decree, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier then said it was the prerogative of new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to form the government.

"On Nov 23, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong summoned GPS for an audience and the GPS delegation was led by Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

"His Majesty advised the formation of a unity government to overcome the political turmoil.

"GPS is complying with His Majesty's decree in accordance with his constitutional powers," Abang Johari told a press conference after chairing a GPS supreme council meeting at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters here on Thursday (Nov 24).

Asked if this meant GPS would be part of a unity government, he answered yes.

He declined to reveal whether Anwar had contacted him on Wednesday (Nov 23) or Thursday.

As to whether the unity government would have enough support without GPS' participation, Abang Johari said he did not know.

"But what the Yang di-Pertuan Agong wants is a strong and stable government," he said.

To a question on whether GPS would ask for a deputy prime minister's post, Abang Johari said "we'll see".

"But you must remember we are the biggest bloc (with) 23 MPs. If you compare with the other parties, we are a big bloc," he said.

In an indication of thawing ties with DAP, which has had a strained relationship with GPS, Abang Johari also acknowledged the open apology by DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke and national chairman Lim Guan Eng for any statements made by the party's leaders in the past which offended the state government and Sarawakians.

Loke had paid a courtesy call on Abang Johari and other GPS leaders here on Thursday morning to offer the apology.

Abang Johari said Loke did not make any offers to GPS during the meeting.

"What is important is that DAP apologised and acknowledged their mistake. They also said they wanted to open a new chapter.

"But at the same time, they must respect our component party SUPP," he said.

Abang Johari also said any cooperation between GPS and DAP at the federal level would not affect the state's political landscape.

He said DAP was not part of the state government and would remain in the Opposition at the state level.

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