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KUCHING, March 19: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing supports Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s statement of not fielding direct Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates in upcoming 14th General Election (GE14).
He said such an arrangement would not be able to solve the impasse between the two Chinese-based parties in the state — Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and its splinter party, United People’s Party (UPP).
“The formulae of direct BN candidacy to solve infighting between SUPP and UPP didn’t work in 2016 and it will not work if the same political characters are at play.
“Therefore, CM (Chief Minister) is correct by not using direct BN candidates to solve the political impasse between UPP and SUPP,” said Masing who is also Deputy Chief Minister, in a statement today.
Masing said all seven parliamentary seats under SUPP should be contested under BN and UPP, which is not a member of BN coalition had no right to use BN’s symbol.
The seven seats traditionally allocated to SUPP are mostly Chinese majority seats except for Serian which is a Bidayuh majority seat. The other six seats are Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri.
“All SUPP MP seats, seven of them should be given to SUPP/BN to contest. UPP which is not a member of the BN coalition has no right to contest using the BN symbol.
“Therefore, UPP members who wish to be candidates should join SUPP in order to qualify them to stand on a BN ticket.
“If upon winning they resign, they are then deemed to have quit their seats and should vacate their positions with immediate effect,” said Masing who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister.
Abang Johari was quoted by local media as saying that there would be no direct BN candidates in GE14 during an official function yesterday.
The reason he gave was that the upcoming election involved all states in Malaysia and not just Sarawak alone.
DayakDaily reported the CM as saying Central BN would determine if direct BN candidates would be fielded.
The direct candidacy formulae was applied in the 2016 state election by late state BN chairman Pehin Sri Adenan Satem to solve the impasse between UPP and SUPP, as well as the one between Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) which split from Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). — DayakDaily