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KUCHING, Nov 27: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak claims that Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak has refused to negotiate about State seats openly and transparently.
State PKR Leadership Council in a statement yesterday (Nov 26) said it has tried to meet with DAP Sarawak’s top leadership for many months to discuss the matter but were faced with blank refusals.
It said owing to the departure of the former State PKR chairman, Larry Sng from the party in February 2021, any personal agreement made by him with DAP Sarawak is to be null and void as this was done independently without the knowledge and agreed consent from the grassroots leaders in Sarawak.
“Since early 2020, we have identified a strong potential Dayak candidate in the State seat of Kemena who has done extensive community outreach and welfare support throughout Kemena during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and enjoys impressive grassroots support from the local Iban community.
“Kemena was originally a PKR seat but was on loan to DAP in the 2016 State election which they then went on to lose. With the strength of our present candidate, we therefore requested the return of our Kemena seat to the PKR fold in order that we may contest in this Dayak majority seat,” it said.
State PKR further said it has presented the candidate’s key performance index (KPI) and dossier to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen who is also State DAP chairman, but the latter had refused to even read or acknowledge it.
“What was even more puzzling was that Chong had refused to tell us who he had in mind as a DAP candidate in Kemena.
“To the best of our knowledge, there has been no DAP-led grassroot outreach in Kemena for over three years,” it added.
State PKR also mentioned that it had requested State DAP to discuss their candidates with the party so that they can work on a winning formula together but the State DAP has again refused to negotiate.
“With this, we ask DAP Sarawak – where is the partnership and consensus building? Coalition consensus building must be done respectfully, openly and transparently.
“Building a strong opposition in Sarawak that can affectively bring about reform and change is not just about dominating Chinese majority seats in the towns.
“The opposition coalition in Sarawak needs to be effectively led by a team of multiracial leaders, with strong grassroots support, in order to reach out to the people of Sarawak’s rural heartland,” the statement continued.
Chong has since responded in a text message, emphasising that though former PKR chairman Larry Sng has left the party, it however does not mean that the whole PKR State committee’s previous decision is null and void and has to be revisited.
“An agreement doesn’t work that way. It is an agreement entered into party to party, (and) the change of one office bearer does not affect the validity of the agreement.
“We, on our part, have also given up some seats in order to reach that agreement on Jan 2, 2021,” he said in a text message shared in a DAP media group chat today. — DayakDaily