PDP wants its 5 state seats back

Tiong presenting a souvenir to Abang Johari (in white shirt).

By Peter Sibon and Karen Bong

BINTULU, Jan 12: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) has requested that three of its traditional seats and another two that were promised to them prior to the 2016 state election be returned to the party.

Party president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said that this is the kind of power-sharing that must be practised in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

“GPS is about power sharing and consensus as this principle is crucial to the administration of Sarawak,” he said at PDP’s Triennial General Assembly (TGA) that was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the Bintulu Civic Centre today.

Tiong addressing the PDP TGA at the Bintulu Civic Centre.

Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, cautioned the GPS coalition not to repeat the mistakes made by Barisan Nasional (BN) in the past, where there was only one dominant party.

“GPS is in the right direction in creating a new political platform. So, we cannot make that same mistakes when we were in BN before. Otherwise, the people will reject us, and we will suffer the same fate,” he stressed, adding that the fall of the BN was because it was too egoistic and selfish, resulting in losing its grip on Putrajaya.

Currently, PDP has five seats, but two — Ba’ Kelalan and Krian — are with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). In its bag are Tasik Biru, Meluan and Marudi. Its three traditional seats that have been absorbed into Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) are Batu Danau, Bekenu and Pakan.

Tiong expressed dissatisfaction over the seat allocation under the BN. He felt PDP was sidelined like a ‘stepson’.

Prior to the 2016 state election, the 11 new seats were supposed to be distributed as follows: five for PBB, two for Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), two for Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and two for PDP. But when it came down to actual seat distribution, PBB got eight, PRS (2), SUPP (1) and PDP (0). It was given to the so-called winnable BN direct candidate.

“It was unfair to PDP, which is a minority party, and it is against the spirit of power-sharing,” he lamented.

“As such, I appealed to the GPS chairman (Abang Johari) to help us to claim back our three seats plus the additional two promised seats.”

Tiong and Abang Johari (in white shirt) together with other leaders in a group photo with PDP members.

He pointed out that PDP had been listening to the voice from the grassroots and that has been the practice to choose the candidates.

“Winnable candidates are no longer the main issue and candidates cannot be chosen on an ad-hoc basis. Now, we have to trust the voice of the grassroots for they are the ones who decide,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily