KUCHING, 12 Jan 2009: The increasing number of people joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will not be a threat to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Datuk Seri Dr James Masing said today.
However, Masing who is PRS president and State Land Development Minister, said his party would never take any challenge lightly and was prepared to work hard and listening to the grassroots.
“We should do our homework and listen to the grouses at the grassroots. Once we listen to them, we will be able to tackle the problems that arise,” he told reporters after receiving financial assistance worth RM500,000 to improve the infrastructure of five rural schools in Sarawak from Sime Darby executive vice president (group human resources) Mohamed Ishak Abdul Hamid here.
On 9 Jan, former Sri Aman member of Parliament Jimmy Donald — PRS deputy president aligned to the Larry Sng faction — handed over 3,000 membership application forms from former PRS members to PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The move by former party members to join PKR would not have much effect on PRS as they were “never with me,” said Masing whose position as PRS president has been recognised by the Registrar of Societies.
He said PKR’s move into Sarawak was a time for PRS members to review themselves and to listen to the issues being brought up by the opposition.
“PKR to me is a mirror that reflects your faults. If you are willing to look at the mirror critically, you will be a better man. The mirror will tell you your fault and you can correct it,” he said, adding that it was time to address issues and problems quickly but not at the last minute.
On the proposed merger between Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and PRS, Masing said the merger talk was still ongoing and it would take some time.
“We need to fit the nuts and bolts; that will take a lot of time. What is important the concept is still there,” he said.
When asked whether Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who is Sarawak Chief Minister and state BN chairperson had given any time frame for the merger, Masing said: “The chief minister did not give any time frame because the merger would take some time.”
He said the merger involving Parti Negara Sarawak (Panas), Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak (Bernasa) and Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak (Pesaka) took years to form Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the backbone of the state BN.
“I think that is a hint to us; in a hurry to marry, the relationship will not last long,” he said. — Bernama