SIBU: Present Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapa’ee says he would leave it to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to decide whether he should defend the seat in the next state election.
Dr Annuar, who is also a Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president, said no decision had been made regarding the candidate to be fielded in this PBB stronghold.
“I will be very frank that we (PBB) have yet to decide on who will contest in (Nangka state constituency) in the coming election,” he told reporters when met after the Sibu Melayu-Melanau Bersatu (MBB) Association’s dinner here Friday.
Asked if there was any discussion among the top leadership on the list of candidates for PBB, Dr Annuar said: “The list of candidates will be decided by the party’s top leadership – in particular, the president as he knows better who are more eligible to be fielded. He has stressed that the tradition of PBB leaving it the party’s top leadership to decide on the choice of candidates to be fielded in an election, must be preserved.”
Dr Annuar, who is Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, pointed out what mattered the most would be the party winning the election.
He added that during PBB meetings, discussion had been centred on the party’s preparations for the next state election and services to the people, rather than on choice of the candidates to be fielded.
He said it had always been PBB’s tradition that whoever being nominated by the top leadership to stand in an election, the candidate would be fully supported by all the party’s branches to ensure victory.
“For example, in 2011 (during the 10th state election), when I was asked to stand in Nangka, I was very thankful that as all PBB branches, especially the respective chiefs, gave solid support to me, although I was not a PBB member then,” he recalled.
Asked if Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) would be able to make inroads into Nangka in the next state election, he said any party could contest in an election, in view of Malaysia being a democratic country.
“But I have yet to hear of them (PSB) expressing desire to contest in Nangka or otherwise.”
He also called upon the constituents to evaluate the services rendered by an individual when deciding on whom to vote for.
Dr Annuar, who is also Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing, retained Nangka with a huge majority of 7,617 votes in the last state election in 2016.
He garnered 9,617 votes to defeat Abdul Raafidin Majidi, who stood on PKR’s ticket and received 2,000 votes, while Simon Tiong Ing Tung, representing STAR, managed only 773 votes.