By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, Oct 11: Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi believes that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will retain the N67 Jepak seat and states that BN will assist GPS in the Jepak by-election if requested.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, expressed confidence in GPS’ strength to campaign and win the by-election.
“For Jepak, if we are asked to assist, we will. GPS is a combination of Sarawak parties that are quite strong and Jepak is a GPS seat.
“We believe GPS has strong machinery to be able to retain Jepak,” he told reporters after chairing the Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s coordination meeting with rural executive councillors (Mexclub) held today at a hotel in Kuching.
The Jepak seat was vacated following the death of its incumbent Datuk Talib Zulpilip at Normah Medical Specialist Centre on Sept 15.
Talib was also former Minister in the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman). He served as an assemblyman for Jepak constituency from 1996 until his passing.
The polling date for the Jepak by-election has been set for Nov 4, with nomination day on Oct 21.
Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Dr Azmi Sharom announced this in a press conference broadcast live via its official social media channels after a special meeting to discuss important dates relating to the Jepak by-election in Putrajaya on Sept 25. Early voting will be held on Oct 31.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg stated on Sept 21 that GPS will field a candidate from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) in the Jepak by-election.
Jepak has been held by PBB, the backbone party of GPS, since the constituency was created in 1996.
Furthermore, on Sept 25, the Premier hinted that the GPS candidate for the upcoming Jepak by-election is from Jepak, Bintulu. — DayakDaily