Sri Aman MP Masir Kujat has quit Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), which is part of the state ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
According to Borneo Post, he defected to Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), formerly known as the United People's Party (UPP), a splinter Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP).
“My reason is that I believe PSB is a truly multi-racial party and can unite all races in Sarawak. PSB is an independent local-based party that can speak up for all Sarawakians, irrespective of race or religious belief.
“As a Dayak leader and member of Parliament, I believe PSB will be the party best placed to champion Dayak rights and unite all Dayaks in Sarawak,” Masir was quoted as saying.
PSB is a friendly party to the state ruling coalition. There have also been efforts to get PSB to join GPS albeit fierce objection from SUPP.
At present, GPS comprises Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), SUPP and PRS.
Several current and former PRS leaders also joined Masir in defecting to PSB, including former Selangau MP Joseph Entulu Belaun and former Lubok Antu MP William Nyallau Badak.
The duo was sacked by PRS shortly before the 14th general election.
The new PSB recruits met with party president Wong Soon Koh in Kuching today.
The PSB secretariat was quoted by Borneo Post as saying that it welcomed all like-minded persons to join the party.
"We know there are tens of thousands of people from different stratum of all community groups who believe in our struggles, are going to join us.
"In time to come, our party PSB will be able to represent large segments of all community groups and will very soon acquire a strong standing far beyond the age of our party,” it said in a statement today.
PSB also pledged support to Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg even though it is not formally part of the GPS coalition.