PDP for Saratok

PM has decided there won’t be BN direct candidate for Saratok seat

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

SARATOK: There will not be any Barisan Nasional (BN) direct candidate for Saratok during the next parliamentary election.

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said Prime Minister and BN national chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had agreed to this and that the BN candidate would be from PDP.

“I have met the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaid Hamidi) and discussed at length with them. This time the candidate will be from PDP and PM has agreed there will not be BN direct candidate in Saratok,” Tiong told a meet the people event at Rumah Jabu, Nanga Senulau near here.

Tiong said PDP’s candidate for Saratok would be the best bet to win back the hearts of voters, who had twice rejected the party at state constituency level in Krian.

According to him, PDP would endorse a hard-working young man as its candidate for Saratok.

“The candidate must work hard and always work on the ground with the people. I am sure our candidate will get the approval and blessing from Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) and Prime Minister,” he said.

Tiong said Meluan assemblyman Rolland Duat had been appointed to head the Saratok campaign as director of operations there.

“Rolland is working for Barisan Nasional here, not the opposition. Give your full cooperation to him and do not feel scared by threats that you will be sacked as ‘tuai rumah’ (longhouse chieftain) or penghulu for working with him – that is rubbish,” Tiong stressed after learning about longhouse chieftains being warned by certain groups to stay away from the function.

He said for a start, the PM had approved funds totalling RM3 million to Saratok for Rolland to tackle critical issues.

“RM3 million covers Krian, Kabong and Kalaka. Go and meet Rolland. Talk to him if you have bigger problems or issues – we will try to help,” Tiong said.

Tiong also announced a  RM20,000 grant for Rumah Jabu for hosting the gathering and thanked the over 100 tuai rumah in attendance.

Among those present were Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Betong Resident Friday Belik and Subeng Mula – the businessman widely tipped to be PDP’s choice for Saratok.

In the 2013 parliamentary election, Tan Sri William Mawan won Saratok for BN as a then-Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) candidate.

However, he quit SPDP in 2014 to join Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras).

In the 2016 state election, Mawan defended his seat of Pakan as a BN direct candidate.

He won by a slim majority of 426 votes.

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