KUCHING (Oct 31): Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen is the first prospective candidate in Sarawak to have settled his election deposit for the parliamentary election.
According to a DAP Sarawak statement, an election officer confirmed this after Chong, accompanied by Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong, paid the deposit at the state Election Commission (EC) Office at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar here today.
The Stampin incumbent is expected to defend the seat, which has the second highest number of constituents, at 121,009, in Sarawak.
“DAP is prepared for the battle despite the significant increase in the number of voters, which will definitely pose greater challenges to our campaigning,” said Chong.
He added the increase was inevitable given the implementation of automatic voter registration and lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.
According to Chong, DAP must create awareness among voters that this coming election is about clean governance against corrupt practices, people-centric policy versus centralisation of power, multiculturalism versus extremism, and the future versus the past.
He claimed the state DAP has exercised autonomy in its choice of candidates and seats.
“The eight candidates that we have are selected and finalised by the DAP Sarawak Committee because we have our autonomy,” he said.
According to him, this contrasted with the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), which could not choose candidates for its seats as it has to abide with what Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg decides.
“Given this, how could SUPP and (its president Dato Sri Dr) Sim Kui Hian talk about autonomy?” he queried.
DAP Sarawak has previously confirmed Dr Kelvin Yii (Bandar Kuching), Chong (Stampin), Mordi Bimol (Mas Gading), Alice Lau (Lanang), and Oscar Ling (Sibu) would defend their seats.
The party also announced that the party’s new faces would be Roderick Wong (Sarikei), Tony Chiew (Bintulu), and Learry Jabul (Serian).