KUALA LUMPUR: Umno said it will maintain good relations with the four Sarawak parties that left the Sarawak Barisan Nasional today and grouped under the new Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.
Umno Information Chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa said Umno was prepared to establish cooperation with the GPS leadership in the interests of the people of Sarawak.
Sarawak BN was no more after Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) made the unanimous decision to quit the coalition and form GPS.
The announcement was made by Sarawak BN chairman and PBB president Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in Kuching.
Annuar said the four parties were not joining the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition but were forming their own coalition that could establish cooperation with the federal government.
"The new (GPS) coalition is seen as having been formed to look after the interests of Sarawak," he said when contacted by Bernama.
Asked whether Umno would spread its wings to Sarawak by setting up branches in the state following the latest development, Annuar said there was no necessity to do so.
The departure of the four parties has left Sarawak BN disbanded and the BN losing 19 MPs. Thirteen of the MPs are from PBB, three from PRS, two from PDP and one from SUPP.
The remaining 12 MPs out of a total of 31 in Sarawak comprise DAP (six MPs), PKR (four) and independent (two) representatives.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, when contacted by Bernama, said the party respected the decision of the four Sarawak parties to leave the BN and added that the parties were entitled to determine their direction in politics.
MIC Youth chief Datuk C. Sivarraajh said the departure of the four parties was due to the changed political landscape in the country.