Trouble brewing within PKR in Betong

Eddison Eddy Tinggi

KUCHING: Trouble seems to be brewing within PKR in Betong as two potential election candidates bicker over comments made by one of them in Radio Free Sarawak (RFS).

PKR Betong information chief Eddison Eddy Tinggi, who has been trying to get himself nominated, said he was upset by a recent RFS broadcast which favoured another potential candidate – Noel Changgai Bucking.

He condemned RFS for being biased and unprofessional in their reporting, and blamed some personalities in the station for touting names of people who are their friends or relatives to be potential candidates.

“I categorically refute the report by Radio Free Sarawak that I have given up my campaign for the candidacy of Betong parliamentary seat. I am still going around campaigning in the constituency day and night as I have for the past two years.

“That report by RFS was mischievous and had ill intentions. I am very concerned that of late Radio Free Sarawak has been very unprofessional and emotional in their reporting. By doing this, they are destroying the mission and vision of Pakatan Rakyat,” he said in a statement yesterday.

PKR is eyeing Betong in the impending general election. Apart from Eddison and Noel, Wanita PKR had also publicly called for a women candidate to be fielded there.

Noel, who joined the party recently, is closely associated to PKR Sarawak information chief Vernon Kedit, and they have been seen going around Betong to meet the people and participate in party activities.

But Eddison claimed that Noel was a BN-friendly person. Though he did not substantiate his claim, it was believed he was referring to the years spent by Noel working in one of the ministries headed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang.

“I am aware that a few days ago there was an unsanctioned meeting by some PKR members in Betong to put forward the name of a very BN-friendly person to replace me,” he said, referring to lobbyists for Noel.

RFS interviewed Noel for its show which was broadcast recently. In its website, RFS described Noel, a former Mayang Tea Plantation manager, as PKR’s potential candidate for P204 Betong.

A recording of the show is also available on the website.

Meanwhile, a political observer said there had been complaints that RFS had been abused by certain quarters.

He said there had been instances of callers claiming themselves as headmen and teachers, thus affecting the credibility of the popular station.

RFS is described by the state government as a rogue radio station, with state BN component Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) being the most vocal in calling the radio to be taken off the air.

RFS, which broadcasts from London, can be heard on shortwave frequency.

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