KUCHING: Getting Cabinet posts was not a priority for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in supporting Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for Prime Minister, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Chief Minister said saving the country from political turmoil was the state coalition’s main consideration.
“Getting Cabinet posts is secondary. The country comes first,” he told reporters after opening an interfaith forum at the Sarawak Islamic Information Centre here Tuesday (March 3).
Abang Johari said GPS played a key role in resolving the political impasse by giving its support to Muhyiddin, about an hour before his appointment was announced by Istana Negara on Saturday (Feb 29).
According to him, he was in the remote settlement of Sungai Asap earlier that Saturday to launch the Belaga and Murum GPS zone, where he could not be reached due to the poor phone line.
“The Istana called at 4pm when I was back home. I had the mandate from GPS leaders to decide, so we went for Muhyiddin.
“I don’t know whether there was a deadlock or not, but they had to wait for our decision.
“For GPS, our decision was to save the country from political instability and also to protect Sarawak’s interests and the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.
Asked why GPS backed Muhyiddin, Abang Johari said there was no option.
“I know Muhyiddin, I know all of them. So between the two devils, as the saying goes, we had to choose one,” he said.
He also said people could now see why GPS left Barisan Nasional to be an independent state-based coalition.
“If we were in Barisan, then Barisan is the spokesman for us. But now we are on our own, they had to look for me even though I was in Sungai Asap.
“This is not being regionalistic, to me this is real power sharing,” he said.