No BN direct candidates in GE14 – CM

Abang Johari (second left), Abdul Wahap (left) and other guests giving the thumbs up as they pose next to the Muara Sungai Kudei Bridge sign during the launch of the steel bridge today. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: There will be no fielding of Barisan Nasional (BN) direct candidates to contest in the 14th General Election (GE14).

This was revealed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg when asked to comment if BN direct candidates would be fielded in the looming polls emulating the formula which has proven to be effective in the last State Election.

He said the reason behind this was in view that the upcoming election involved all states in Malaysia and not just Sarawak alone.

“This is a parliamentary election and all (contesting) candidates are from each component party unlike the State Election. In Peninsular Malaysia, they also don’t have any BN direct candidates,” he told reporters when met after officiating the Muara Sungai Kudei Bridge at Kampung Kudei here today.

Also present at the launch of the RM738,093 steel bridge was Kuching North City Comission mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai.

Upon confirming this, Abang Johari was then asked if that meant that there will be no BN direct candidate contesting in Saratok parliamentary constituency to which he replied: “At the moment, no.”

“This is because you don’t only confine to Sarawak as it (14th General Election) also applies to Peninsular Malaysia and also to Sabah,” he reiterated.

But when asked if he would be the one approving BN Sarawak’s candidates to contest in the election, the state BN chairman said, “No…not absolute lah” and declined to comment further on whether he has finalised his list of candidates.

Abang Johari’s latest revelation on BN not fielding any direct candidates meant that Saratok MP Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom, who is currently partyless, may not be defending his seat in the forthcoming general election.

However, in January, the senior politician had claimed that he was already a member of a BN component party and will be announcing this at an appropriate time.

In the last 13th General Election, Mawan, then contesting as a Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) candidate, cinched a win for BN when he defeated Ali Biju of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Independent candidate Datuk Abang Rosli Abang Palent with a majority of 2,081 votes.

A fallout with SPDP led him to join Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) in 2014 but as the party was not recognised as a BN component party, he had to defend his state seat of Pakan as a BN direct candidate in the 11th State Election in 2016 where he only won by a slim majority of 426 votes.

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