Eyes on Padungan as SUPP has yet to finalise candidate to wrest back seat

From left: Tay, Bong and Jong showing the carnations that are distributed to hawkers at the Petanak Central Market in conjunction with the coming Mother's Day celebration.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, May 7: The Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) has yet to determine its official candidate to stand in the Padungan seat as the State election draws nearer.

As of now, SUPP Kuching Branch has announced two potential candidates, namely its deputy chairman Bong Lian Huan and treasurer Jong Yean Pin, to wrest back the state seat which the party lost to the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in 2006.

This was revealed by Bong, saying “Our party branch will put out our names to the party’s and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) central leadership for them to decide.

“But so far, there is no confirmation yet (on the exact date) since the proclamation of Emergency had complicated things (pertaining to when the State election will be called),” Bong told reporters during the distribution of 150 carnations to hawkers at Petanak Central Market here in conjunction with the coming Mother’s Day celebration.

Also present were Jong and SUPP Youth Section assistant publicity secretary Eric Tay Tze Kok.

Bong (second right) converses with a hawker after giving a carnation to her while Jong (second left) and Tay look on.

Despite being nominated for the same seat, both him and Jong have been actively working together on the ground since two years back to understand the local issues and listen to the people’s heartbeat.

“As far as we are concerned, (who will become the final candidate) is not an issue as we will continue to move around and engage with the people at the grassroot level.

“Since both Jong and I are councillors of Kuching South City Council (MBKS), we are also able to use our capacity as councillors to help solve the issues pressing the community,” he added.

Bong (right) presents a carnation to a visitor at the Petanak Central Market.

The Padungan seat was previously held by SUPP’s woman representative Datuk Lily Yong Lee Lee after she defeated Democratic Action Party (DAP)’s Chong Chieng Jen in the 2001 state election.

In the 2006 state election, Yong failed to defend the seat when she was defeated by PKR’s Dominique Ng Kim Ho.

In the 2011 state election, the Padungan seat was won by DAP’s Wong King Wei which he retained in the 2016 election. To date, Wong is an independent assemblyman after he exited the party in July last year. — DayakDaily