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KUCHING, Nov 27: DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen has urged PKR Sarawak to keep their focus on the 47 seats they will be contesting in under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak agreement, instead of wasting valuable time and energy grabbing seats to win the war against Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
According to Chong, who is also PH Sarawak chairman, all three component parties had signed the agreement on seat allocations on Jan 2 this year which finalised that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will contest in 47 seats, while Democratic Action Party (DAP) will take on 26 seats and National Trust Party (Amanah) nine seats in the 12th Sarawak Election.
He emphasised that even 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.
Chong added that the seat allocation was finalised following many rounds of negotiation with not only former PKR chairman Larry Sng but together with few other PKR state committee members including Joshua Jabeng and Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh who were regular attendees in the negotiations.
“On that day, Larry Sng was signing on behalf of the PKR state committee, many of whom were also present. That was the decision of the PKR state committee as a whole, not that of Larry Sng alone,” he said.
Chong was responding to a statement by PKR Sarawak’s State Leadership Council which has accused DAP Sarawak of refusing to discuss seat allocations again for the coming election.
The seats in question are Kemena, Senadin and Piasau under the Miri parliamentary constituency.
PKR Sarawak asserted how Kemena was originally a PKR seat that was “loaned” to DAP for the 2016 state polls, which DAP eventually lost, and that a new, stronger and more suitable Dayak candidate for the seat has since been identified by them.
They had thus submitted a request to get the Kemena seat back, considering that there has been no DAP-led grassroots outreach in the constituency for over three years, but the Council claimed that Chong has refused to even read or acknowledge it.
The Council also explained how the Senadin and Piasau seats were similarly lost by DAP after being defeated in the 2016 polls, before asserting that PKR has the stronger grassroots backing in these predominantly Chinese and Dayak constituencies. — DayakDaily