Riot confident of defending Serian but admits crystal ball foggy on Undi18 impact

Richard Riot Jaem

By Roslan Mutu

SERIAN, Nov 3: Seven-term Serian incumbent Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem is confident of defending the Bidayuh-majority seat but foresee challenges posed by the yet uncertain impact of Undi18 voters.

He said his confidence to defend the seat is based on his experience in representing the area since 1990.

“My markas (operation centre) has been set up more than a week ago. If you go to my markas, it’s all set up and ready but in politics, of course I say I’m very confident to win but never over-confident,” Riot told the media after receiving his letter of authorisation from Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters today.

Riot reiterated that he was confident to win otherwise he would not have accepted the nomination from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to stand as a candidate in the 15th General Election (GE15).

“Because, if I’m not confident to win the seat, I would not have wanted to accept the nomination (from GPS). So, let’s see on nomination day who my opponents are,” he said, adding that there is a possibility that he would be involved in a four-cornered fight.

On GE15, he admitted that it would be very difficult predict the sentiments of young and new voters.

“So, it is very difficult to say at the moment with Undi18 voters as well as new voters,” he said.

He disclosed that the Serian parliamentary seat has never gone uncontested in previous general elections.

Meanwhile, Riot who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy president, said his party is now confident of winning at least four of the seven seats it will be contesting.

However, he declined to give details of which seats he was referring to.

Besides Serian, SUPP candidates will contest in Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri.

In GE14 in 2018, Riot won the Serian seat in a three-cornered fight with a majority of 9,905 votes. — DayakDaily