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Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said this literally deprived an East Malaysian the chance to be the prime minister for the first time in the country’s history. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said this literally deprived an East Malaysian the chance to be the prime minister for the first time in the country’s history. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUCHING, Aug 19 — Sarawak DAP criticised Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) today for supporting Umno vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob over former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to be the next prime minister of Malaysia.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen said this literally deprived an East Malaysian the chance to be the prime minister for the first time in the country’s history.

Mohd Shafie had the conditional support of 105 Opposition lawmakers and would have gained a simple parliamentary majority had GPS backed him.

“This is a great disservice to the people of both the Borneo states and also a setback to our common struggle for greater autonomy for the two states,” he said in a statement when commenting on the support of 18 GPS members of parliament for Ismail Sabri.

He said GPS has wronged the nation and Sarawak by supporting Ismail Sabri, whom he said has shown over the past year that he was unable to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He was the person in charge of the control of the Covid-19 pandemic under the Emergency Order and yet the new infection rate and death rate increased tremendously under his charge,” Chong, who is also the Stampin member of parliament, lamented.

He also accused GPS of effectively enabling Umno to regain the prime minister’s post through its support for Ismail Sabri.

He added Umno was the main political party that had systematically eroded the rights and special position of Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

“It was removed from the top post in Malaysia via the voters in the 2018 general elections.  Yet, now, with the support of GPS, Umno will take over the post of prime minister,” he said.

The 18 MPs from GPS were among 114 MPs from Umno, PAS and Perikatan Nasional to be interviewed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for confirmation over their support of Ismail Sabri to be the prime minister today.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg told reporters that he was leaving it to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to announce GPS’ nominee to the prime minister.

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