KUCHING, July 18: Senator Robert Lau viewed the announcement by Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing of the party’s candidate for Bawang Assan seat for the coming Sarawak state election as not in the spirit of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
He pointed out that it was not for the component parties of GPS to make public claims on seats, especially seats that have been traditionally contested by other component parties.
“In this case, SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party) has always been the party that represents this constituency,” he said in a press statement today.
Lau noted that Tiong’s move was in response to the challenge by Bawang Assan assemblyman Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, who is also the president of the opposition party Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) to contest in the seat in the coming state election.
“The spat and bad blood between the two veteran Chinese politicians of Sarawak, and also presidents of their respective parties, have overshadowed the need for real leadership for the area and people of Bawang Assan,” he added.
Lau, who is SUPP Bawang Assan branch chairman, emphasised that election should not be used as a contest of might or to settle personal disputes, but rather as a force of good to choose the right leader that will benefit the people.
“The leadership and members of SUPP Bawang Assan branch have been active on the grounds consistently and not only appear when election is near.
“We have been serving the people whether it is election time or not. For example during the MCO (Movement Control Order) period, our team visited and delivered food aid provided by the state government to every household and longhouses in Bawang Assan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tiong has today emphasised that he felt obliged to answer Bawang Assan incumbent Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh’s challenge to contest against him in the seat.
“Thanks to Wong Soon Koh as he welcomed me to contest in Bawang Assan. So, we would consider sending (Cr Joshua) Ting who is fresh, dynamic and full of new ideas,” he said.
He reiterated that PDP preferred young and charismatic leaders to serve the people rather than the elderly who refused to let go.
In the last state election held in 2016, Wong, who was the then United People’s Party (UPP) president, won the seat as a BN-direct candidate with a majority of 4,131 votes in a four-cornered fight. The Bawang Assan seat is one that he has held since 1990.
The former Second Finance Minister resigned from the state cabinet last year and announced that his party, which has since been rebranded as Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) was no longer GPS-friendly. —DayakDaily