By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, Nov 28: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg today confirmed that Kennedy Chukpai Ugon will be defending his Murum seat in the 12th Sarawak Election.
“Boleh lah saya confirm haritok nya akan jadi ‘manok sabong’ kita di sitok. (I can confirm today that Kennedy will become our warrior here).
“If the local community supports him, this means you are supporting me too and when you’re supporting GPS, we will be able to continue with the plans we have for Sungai Asap, including Belaga,” he said.
He said this when speaking at a leaders with the people gathering at Lamin Adet Bangen Kimet Uma Baha, Sungai Asap, Belaga which was broadcast live on Sarawak Public Communications Unit’s (UKAS) YouTube today.
Apart from Chukpai, Abang Johari also hinted that Belaga incumbent Datuk Liwan Lagang may defend his seat in the coming State polls.
Both Chukpai and Liwan are members of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), a component party of GPS alongside Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).
Chukpai won Murum, a new seat created from Belaga and Kemena following the electoral redelineation, in a four-cornered fight in the 2016 Sarawak Election with 2,200 majority votes.
Meanwhile, Liwan won the Belaga seat in the 2006 Sarawak Election against his predecessor Stanley Ajang Batok who was contesting as independent and John Bampa of Sarawak National Party (SNAP).
He won with 1,855 votes, just a slight difference of 227 votes against Stanley with 1,628, while John Bampa managed to secure only 912 votes.
He then successfully defended his seat in a six-cornered fight in the 2011 Sarawak Election with 3,974 votes, and won against Alexander Lehan of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in the 2016 Sarawak Election with 3,686 majority votes.
When asked about the Baleh seat, Abang Johari told reporters that he would only announce the candidate later.
“It’s because I am here in Sungai Asap, Belaga, so I announce our candidate who will contest here (only),” he said.
Baleh seat was previously held by former PRS president, the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, for eight terms.
However, he had passed away at 7.05am on Oct 31, 2021 at Normah Sarawak Medical Centre due to heart complications, leaving his seat vacant prior to the coming State polls. — DayakDaily