KUCHING: State Pakatan Harapan chief Chong Chieng Jen has played down talks that he is all out after Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian to prove a point that majority of the Chinese in Sarawak are united under Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Chong who is also State DAP chairman and Bandar Kuching MP, said he does not harbour any rivalry against Dr Sim.
Chong said this when asked talks of the town that he will be contesting at a seat which Dr Sim will be standing for Barisan Nasional (BN).
Chong said: “Final decision and announcement will be made at a later date. Whatever the decision, it is about maximising the chances to change the federal government and topple Umno. There is no personal rivalry or ill will between Sim and I.”
“It (the parliamentary election) is about the interest of the nation. We cannot afford to have Umno BN governing this country any longer. The country has no future under BN, except rampant corruption n humiliating scandals,” he added.
An online news portal Free Malaysia Today on April 14, speculated that Chong is to leave ‘safe’ Bandar Kuching for ‘grey’ Stampin in the forthcoming general election (or GE14).
The article reported that Chong is said to want to lead by example in taking the tougher seat. It speculated that Chong will be contesting in the more vulnerable seat of Stampin and leave the safer Bandar Kuching to newcomer Dr Kelvin Yii.
Stampin is considered a “grey” constituency following the redelineation exercise carried out prior to the 2016 state elections, which saw the state seat of Batu Lintang from Stampin moved to Bandar Kuching.
Batu Lintang is considered a safe opposition seat and with the move, Bandar Kuching is now even more concentrated with opposition voters.
This turns Stampin into a vulnerable seat for the DAP as the parliamentary constituency now comprises the three state seats of Batu Kawah, Kota Sentosa and Batu Kitang.
Batu Kawah and Batu Kitang are held by BN-SUPP while Chong himself is the state assemblyman for Kota Sentosa.
Kuchingites and political observers have been expecting Chong to defend Bandar Kuching with Yii in Stampin.
Stampin’s current incumbent Julian Tan has decided not to seek re-election as he wants to concentrate on his business in Kuala Lumpur.