48 hours from polling, GPS confident of retaining Jepak but refuses to disclose targeted majority

Awang Tengah (centre) speaking to the media when met at Rumah Ijau Undah here on Nov 2, 2023.

By Lian Cheng

BINTULU, Nov 3: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Jepak by-election campaign director Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan is confident that Jepak seat will be retained and 48 hours away from polling, he still refuses to disclose the targeted majority.

When pressed if GPS’s targeted majority is 10,000 votes or more, he only stressed that “I want big majority” which he repeated said three times.

On the overall campaign, Awang Tengah who is also Deputy Premier commended on the support for GPS on the ground.

“I am very pleased to see the support of the people for GPS candidate.  So the most important thing is for them (GPS supporters) to make arrangements so that all our voters will go all out to vote.

“I want the turnout to be bigger.  

“The support is there, the most important thing is the turnout.  I want all GPS supporters to go out to vote.  That is it,” said Awang Tengah when met by the media at Rumah Ijau Undah on Thursday evening (Nov 2).

Residents of Rumah Ijau Undah inviting Awang Tengah (centre) for wefie on Nov 2, 2023 when the latter visited the longhouse on campaign trail.

For voters who are currently not in the Jepak constituency, he called on them to return to vote on Nov 1 (Saturday) as it is their responsibility to exercise their rights.

The Jepak by-election was called following the passing of its six-term assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip on Sept 15.

The by-election will see a three-cornered fight between GPS candidate Iskandar Turkee, Parti Bumi Kenyalang’s (PBK) Stevenson Joseph Sumbang, and Chieng Lea Phing of Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak (Aspirasi).

Jepak which has been described as a stronghold for GPS was retained with a majority of 4,243 during Sarawak Election 2021.  As such, when the by-election was announced, prediction has been rampant that GPS will continue retain the seat. 

It was thus not surprising that from the beginning of the campaign, GPS’ campaign has never focus on retaining the seat, rather, it focuses on increasing the majority.  

GPS’ narrative is that, an increase in the majority will be an evidence of the support for GPS policies thus far.   — DayakDaily