GE14: Poser over whether Teo will defend Miri seat

Chong Chieng Jen

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KUCHING: Will incumbent Dr Michael Teo be fielded or will there be a new Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Miri in the coming general election?

This question came to mind when the Miri MP was recently reported as saying he is a winnable candidate for the opposition party.

A question was posed to Pakatan Harapan Sarawak (PH Sarawak) chairman Chong Chieng Jen this morning at a press conference as to whether there might be a different candidate for Miri fielded by the opposition.

Chong who is also Kota Sentosa state assemblyman and Bandar Kuching MP in his reply, reiterated that as far as seat negotiations for PH Sarawak are concerned, “all have been settled”.

He said, the agreement between the three parties within PH Sarawak (Democratic Action Party or DAP, PKR and Amanah) was that the seat allocation would follow the 13th General Election arrangement whereby the three parties would continue to stand in their respective areas as determined during the last general election.

PKR information chief Vernon Kedit who was also present supported Chong by saying that it would be ‘status quo as in 2013 (general election)’.

He gave the assurance that PKR would still be calling the shots for the Miri seat.

However, something he said gave those present some food for thought.

“The incumbent party will defend the seat. Not necessary the incumbent,” said Vernon who is also the information chief of PH Sarawak.

When pressed further whether that meant specifically that the Miri seat would be represented by PKR in the coming general election but the candidate might be different, Vernon did not give a direct answer.

“That is up to the leaders to decide. Traditionally, the incumbent will be retained, unless the leaders decide otherwise. At our level, it is already very clear — status quo,” said Vernon.

Meanwhile, Chong announced that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be attending and speaking at a PH Sarawak ‘ceramah’ on Sept 24 which is scheduled for 7pm to 10.30pm at the carpark area in front of the Everise Departmental Store at BDC.

Besides Mahathir, other PH leaders such as Lim Kit Siang (DAP) and Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli (Amanah) will also be attending the event and sharing on political developments in Peninsular Malaysia.