KUCHING (Nov 3): Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has replaced three incumbents and included two serving state assemblymen in its line-up of candidates for the 15th general election (GE15).
When announcing the list of candidates this morning, GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said Puncak Borneo incumbent Datuk Willie Mongin will defend the seat.
The incumbents who are not seeking re-election are Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in Santubong, Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim in Batang Lupar, and Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat in Betong.
All the three incumbents are from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).
They are replaced by Dato Sri Nancy Shukri (Santubong), Mohamad Shafizan Kepli (Batang Lupar), and Richard Rapu (Betong).
New face Rodiyah Sapiee will contest in Nancy’s former seat of Batang Sadong.
Also among the 31 candidates are Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, who will stand in Stampin, and Repok assemblyman Dato Sri Huang Tiong Sii, who is GPS’ candidate for Sarikei.
Lo and Willie are among the 14 new faces fielded by GPS to stand in GE15.
The others are Lidang Disen (Mas Gading), Tay Tze Kok (Bandar Kuching), Rodiyah Sapiee (Batang Sadong), Mohamad Shafizan Kepli (Batang Lupar), Dato Sri Doris Sophia Brodie (Sri Aman), Roy Angau Gingkoi (Lubok Antu), Richard Rapu (Betong), Giendam Jonathan Tait (Saratok), Wong Ching Yong (Lanang), Clarence Ting Ing Horh (Sibu), Edwin Banta (Selangau), and Jeffery Phang Siaw Foong (Miri).
GPS will also field Dato Sri Fadillah Yusuf (Petra Jaya), Datuk Rubiah Wang (Kota Samarahan), Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem (Serian), Yusuf Abdul Wahab (Tanjong Manis), Ahmad Johnie Zawawi (Igan), Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum (Julau), Datuk Ago Dagang (Kanowit), Dato Hanifah Hajar Taib (Mukah), Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi (Kapit), Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong (Hulu Rajang), Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (Bintulu), Lukanisman Awang Sauni (Sibuti), Dato Anyi Ngau (Baram), Datuk Hasbi Habibollah (Limbang), and Dato Henry Sum Agong (Lawas).
PBB, the backbone of GPS, will field 14 candidates, whereas the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has seven candidates.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) will be fielding six and four candidates respectively.
Abang Johari told a press conference at the PBB headquarters here that GPS’ chosen candidates were experienced and that they comprised the middle-aged and youths.
The Premier also said that the coalition has added two more women as candidates, bringing GPS’ women candidates to five for GE15.
“We have Dato Sri Doris (PRS Women’s chief) who will be standing in Sri Aman and the other lady is Rodiyah Sapiee for Batang Sadong.
“Rodiyah’s education background includes a Master of Business Administration as well as a Bachelor of Civil Engineering,” he said.
Abang Johari added GPS will continue to defend Sarawak’s rights through its parliamentary candidates, who will focus on putting ‘Sarawak First’ in Parliament, especially on issues related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“We have our policy, including those that have yet to be completed, under the MA63 negotiations,” he said.
He also said that the coalition has been successful in its constitutional demands through Wan Junaidi, the caretaker Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), which had resulted in the MA63 and its annexures such as the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report being recognised and included as part of the Federal Constitution.
“I would like to express my thanks to the GPS members of Parliament who have served in the past government, particularly those who have paved the way for new faces,” he said.
Abang Johari also announced that GPS will be launching its manifesto on Nov 6.
“We are very firm on our manifesto even though some have said that it should not be treated like a ‘Bible’,” he said.
Among those present at the press conference were deputy premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.