GPS backbenchers hit back at Chong over “kingbeggar” remark

By Chew Lip Song

GABUNGAN Parti Sarawak (GPS) backbenchers have accused state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen of “begging” the coalition to retain Pakatan Harapan in power last year following the Sheraton Move.

In a joint statement, the backbenchers have also distanced the coalition from Chong’s description that the GPS had turned from “kingmakers” to “kingbeggars” following its alleged failure to pressure the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government on issues like the Batang Lupar bridge project, #Undi18 and the “Allah” issue.

The group has also accused Chong of ignoring the facts just to create a negative perception of the GPS-PN ties.

“In his choice of words to use ‘kingbeggar’, we would like to remind him that it was him, in fact, who begged GPS to support Pakatan Harapan (PH) to keep them in power in the political turmoil on Feb 29, 2020.

“It was PH Sarawak, especially the DAP, despite the many attacks against GPS and their neglect of Sarawak interests during their stint at the federal government, begged Sarawakians to continue to be sidelined just because they wanted their Malayan bosses to remain in power,” the group added.

Defending the coalition’s track record on issues like the Batang Lupar Bridge project and the use of ‘Allah’, the group said these should have been resolved during PH’s time as federal government.

Citing Undi18 as an example, the backbenchers said the bill to lower the voting age to 18 was passed in Parliament in July 2019, but PH failed to see through its implementation.

“The GPS government will continue to put the interests of Sarawak first, be it in delivering infrastructure development, defending Sarawak’s rights, empowering the youths and ensure that we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” the group added.

On Sunday, in a Facebook “live” session, Chong said GPS had turned from “kingmaker” to “kingbeggar”. GPS, with 19 MPs in Feb 2020, had been a deciding factor in ensuring PN’s success in seizing power following the collapse of Pakatan Harapan.

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