Lo using social media as campaign restrictions in place, Abdul Aziz feels ‘disadvantaged’ as ceramahs limited

Lo (left) and Aziz will slug it out in Batu Kitang.

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KUCHING, Dec 6: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Batu Kitang incumbent Lo Khere Chiang opines that the restrictions on campaigning during this election would not have a big affect on the results, but his rival Abdul Aziz Isa from Democratic Action Party (DAP) foresees a big disadvantage for the Opposition.

Lo, who is also Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman, emphasised that he has always been actively reaching out to people on his social media accounts, especially Facebook, apart from working extensively on the ground.

“I have worked hard for the past five years so I leave it to the people and voters to make the choice (come polling day on Dec 18).

“I will continue to engage the people of Batu Kitang until election day and beyond. I am excited and quite at ease. Even though there won’t be big gatherings, we can reach a lot of people through social media,” he told reporters when met after the announcement of candidates for Batu Kitang by the Election Commission (EC) at the MPP Headquarters here today.

Lo will once again face off with Abdul Aziz, joined by Liu Thian Leong of Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Wong Tun Teck of Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) this election.

If given a fresh mandate from the people, he wants to ensure all essential infrastructure especially road accessibility are completed in the constituency, apart from improving public safety and security by installing closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs).

“I have a lot of plans for Batu Kitang. On a larger scale, I want to implement the tourism master plan which has been proposed by getting the funds to develop tourism attractions that will benefit not only people of Batu Kitang but Sarawak as a whole.

“I wish all my contenders the best in the election. I will work very hard for Batu Kitang and I believe everybody will do the same. Our goals are for a better Sarawak,” he added.

On voter turnout, Lo hopes voters will come out and exercise their duty on polling day as Sarawak has managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic well with a high vaccination rate and ongoing booster shots being delivered to the people.

“I think it won’t be a problem as we have to live with Covid-19. Things are going back to normal now with more people more confident to go out and about in public places while observing all safety precautions,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz, who is trying to wrestle the Batu Kitang seat from Lo for the second time, said he will gladly take the “slings and arrows” from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and is prepared as he has been on the ground and serving the people in the past five years despite losing in the 11th Sarawak Election.

“I am ready to counter any attack from the GPS. I believe all candidates have their chances.

“But this time around, I hope there will be no gutter politics thrown against me like what happened in the past, which was unfair,” he said.

With tight standard operating procedures (SOP) in place, Aziz foresees big disadvantages ahead with ceramah (talks) or limited physical campaigning only allowed in 64 constituencies with low Internet connectivity.

“So this means that the GPS government has failed the people as it showed that about 70 per cent of the population is lacking access to Internet connectivity,” he added.

Aziz revealed that he has 13 goals in his manifesto named “Rukun 13” that targets political integrity, human capital development, education including sports, digitalisation, public safety and security, culture preservation, spur small and medium (SME), agriculture, bereavement welfare, religious harmony and healthy lifestyle. — DayakDaily