Monday, August 3

SPDP most likely to offload Jelaing, Sagan — Mawan

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Tan Sri William Mawan

KUCHING: SPDP will most likely not field two of its serving MPs this coming general election.

Party president Tan Sri William Mawan said incumbents Jelaing Mersat (Saratok) and Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan (Baram) had been informed of the possibility that they might not be re-nominated to defend their seats, and that they were aware the party would be submitting more than one name for all constituencies, including Mas Gading, allocated to it except Bintulu.

On Bintulu, he said the party would only nominate incumbent Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing as it could not find any better Chinese candidate there.

However, he was quick to point out that the decision should not be misconstrued to mean that Tiong was the only Chinese to have a chance to win the seat.

“No. It is not that but it is not possible for me to pick another Chinese, preferably a Chinese to be in Bintulu, because at the
moment it is not easy to serve a constituency – a mixed constituency like Bintulu where we have Melanau, Malay, Kayan, Punan, Iban and Chinese communities all in one.

“But so far we have done a good job as confirmed by top BN leaders,” he said.

He told a media conference this after receiving courtesy calls from three separate organisations in his office at Masja Building in Petrajaya here yesterday.

On the other constituencies, he said the party decided to give the BN leadership a wider choice because of the onslaught from the opposition, and issues related to various personalities and other things.

“From a restricted angle, from my personal and party point of view we intend to have one (nominee per constituency) but when we appoint people it is
not based on favouritism or because he is my blue-eyed boy, no, it is based on winnability,” he explained.

He said the party would be submitting its proposed candidate list to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is national BN chairman, latest by today.

Although unsure of the last date to submit the list, the party was running out of time and would try to send the list by courier service today.

“Using fax is faster but since it is classified as a highly confidential document, the safest way is for us to send the list by courier service.

“We have been given the instruction to submit the candidates’ list some time ago but if we send our list by today or tomorrow I think we still meet the stipulated period of about two weeks,” he explained.

The three organisations who called on him yesterday were SPDP Tasik Biru new office-bearers, Sarawak Scouts and Sarawak Golf Club.