KUCHING, April 21: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) is confident that the party can defend the Saratok parliamentary seat in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14).
Its senior vice-president Datuk Paul Igai said PDP would be able to do so with the help of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).
“As long as we get the support from PBB’s Kalaka and Kabong branches, we are confident we can defend the seat,” Igai told DayakDaily today.
The Saratok parliamentary constituency consists of Kalaka, Krian and Kabong state constituencies. Both Kalaka and Kabong are under PBB while Krian is under Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Paul said due to the strong support of PBB for Kalaka and Kabong, anyone standing under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner would have a good chance in winning the seat.
In the 2016 state election, Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz defended Kalaka with a 2,835 majority while Mohd Chee Kadir who stood in the new seat of Kabong won the seat with a 3,585 majority.
Meanwhile, PKR’s Ali Biju retained Krian with only a majority of 1,640 against Kilat Beriak from PDP (then known as Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party or SPDP).
“We have a good working relationship with PBB in the area. The two PBB state elected representatives will help whichever candidate is supported by BN.
“With our two parties working together, PDP will have no problem to retain the Saratok seat.
“Tan Sri William Mawan (previous Saratok MP) was not the factor for BN to retain the seat. He is not even from the area. He is from Pakan,” said Paul.
Mawan fielded himself in the 2013 General Election in Saratok even though he is from Pakan and the assemblyman of the area. During that time, Mawan was still president of SPDP.
Due to internal political bickering, Mawan however left SPDP to form Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) and became its first president.
During the 2016 state election, Mawan resigned from Teras and stood as a direct BN candidate for Pakan. After the election, he joined PBB and did not make this known until recently earlier this year.
However, since Saratok traditionally belongs to PDP, the seat is now officially returned to PDP as Mawan as a PBB member, cannot be fielded again.
PDP will be fielding a new face — Subeng Mula — to defend the seat. — DayakDaily