KUCHING, Nov 30: Sarawak PKR has identified potential candidates to contest in 15 seats in the upcoming polls (GE14) which is expected to be called after Chinese New Year next year.
PKR vice-chairman See Chee How said the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan had agreed that the status quo would be preserved by contesting the same seats it did in the last general election (GE13).
“One or two potential candidates have been shortlisted for the 15 seats,” said See, who remained tight-lipped when pressed on the number of potential new faces.
It is expected the same candidates who were nominated for GE13 would be fielded in most of the seats, among them Nicholas Mujah (Sri Aman), Thomas Laja (Kanowit), Joshua Jabeng (Selangau), Nicholas Badwin (Lubok Antu), Willie Mongie (Puncak Borneo, formerly called Mambong), Andy Wong Hong Yu (Julau), Baru Bian (Limbang), Ali Biju (Saratok), Roland Engan (Baram), Abun Sui Anyit (Hulu Rajang), and Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh (Batang Lupar).
However, for the urban seat of Miri, the only seat won by PKR in GE13, the current elected representative Michael Teo might not seek re-election.
It has been reported that Teo is not keen after his close associate PKR’s Bill Kayong was murdered for his involvement in defending native customary rights.
Of late, there have been calls from the DAP grassroots in Miri for PKR to return Miri to DAP. Word from the grapevine is that the DAP wants to field former Piasau assemblyman and state DAP secretary Alan Ling in Miri.
State Pakatan Harapan chairman and DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen had however indicated on many occasions that his special assistant Kelvin Yii is likely to contest in Stampin.
Only 31 parliamentary seats will be contested in the general election in Sarawak.
In the last polls, DAP won Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Lanang and Sibu, all five of which are urban Chinese-majority seats, and PKR won one in Miri.
PAS lost all three it contested.
Pakatan Harapan’s new component member Amanah is expected to contest in seats previously contested by PAS.
In GE13, BN had won 25 seats — PBB with 14; PRS with six; SPDP with four and SUPP with one.
In the 2008 general election, Sarawak BN swept 30 out of the 31 seats, losing only Bandar Kuching to DAP’s Chong. BN subsequently lost another seat to DAP during the Sibu by-election when DAP’s late chairman Wong Ho Leng narrowly defeated Robert Lau Hui Yew of SUPP. — DayakDaily