Saturday, October 1

GE15: Unreasonable for PSB to demand any seat held by DAP, says Chong

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Chong being approached by reporters at DAP Sarawak headquarters in Kuching.

KUCHING (Aug 7): There should an understanding between Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), if they were to work together, that incumbents from either party should be the candidates for their respective seats in the next parliamentary election.

In stating this, DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen said PSB should not put its candidates in the parliamentary seats where the incumbents were from the DAP.

“According to (DAP Sarawak deputy chairperson) Alice Lau who heads the DAP’s team of negotiators with PSB, and also from what I heard, PSB has demanded to contest in one of seats held by the DAP.

“We already have elected representatives of our own, so I think if we were to work together, there’s no need to negotiate on who will contest in the seats where the incumbents are from DAP,” he said during an event held at DAP Sarawak headquarters here yesterday.

Chong, who Stampin MP and Padungan assemblyman, then pointed out that if DAP did not put candidates for the seats where PSB had put theirs, then the PSB should do the same, adding: “Because such a thing should be practised when parties work together.”

Chong then gave the example of the Lubok Antu and Selangau parliamentary seats where PSB intended to place its candidates there.

He said for Selangau, the DAP had not make any demand to contest there and for Lubok Antu, it recognised that the PSB should contest there.

Chong believed that if a candidate won his seat for the Opposition in the past polls, it would only be fair that he should be given the chance to become his party’s candidate again for that very seat in the next election.

“But so far, PSB has demanded to contest in our incumbent’s seat and I don’t think we can accede (to such demand); I think that is unreasonable.

“You can verify with PSB top officials if this is true,” he pointed out.

In a press conference held in early May this year, Chong had said that capturing as many parliamentary seats as possible from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the 15th general election (GE15) was the basis of the negotiation between the DAP and PSB.

“I think this is important because one seat to GPS is one seat to Umno. So I think that’s our main goal for the negotiation of seats so that we can gather all our strength and capture as many as possible – the 18 (parliamentary) seats that GPS is holding,” said Chong at the time.