KUCHING, Aug 25 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) president Bobby William today urged Parti Bumi Kenyalang to join forces with other local Opposition parties and state rights groups to contest the next state election under Gagasan Anak Sarawak (Gasak).
He said they should combine their strength to face the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) in the election expected to be called early next year.
“The local Opposition parties have limited resources when compared to what the GPS and PH have, but we can combine our strength by joining forces under Gasak,” Bobby told Malay Mail.
He said the issue of overlapping claims on seats could also be resolved if the local Opposition parties contest under Gasak’s umbrella.
Bobby, who is also Gasak chairman, said PBDSB wants the local Opposition parties to avoid facing each other in the election.
However, he said he did not expect PSB to come under the umbrella of Gasak, claiming it was backed by business groups.
Apart from PBDSB, the other members of Gasak are Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) and Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) and the state’s rights groups Sarawak For Sarawakians and Sarawak Independence Referendum.
Asked for his response, PBK president Voon Lee Shan said his party has not decided whether to join Gasak.
He said PBK attended two meetings with parties and civil societies forming Gasak to explore the possibility of collaboration in the coming election.
“These should be important meetings and I thought that there was a need to find a common ground and common strategies among us,” Voon said.
He said the meetings did not discuss common ground and strategies in detail due to dispute over seat allocations among the parties.
Voon said PBK did not attend the third meeting because it was not assured that the meeting would be a low-key affair and matters discussed would be kept confidential.
“This humble request was not accepted by the organisers,” he said.