PSB-DAP seat negotiations for GE15 called off over Sibu sticking point

Chong (seated centre) poses for a group photo at DAP’s Outstanding SPM Achievement Award Ceremony at Sarawak DAP headquarters in Kuching today (Aug 7, 2022).

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 7: Parti Sarawak Bersatu’s (PSB) demand to contest in Sarawak Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) stronghold in Sibu is standing in the way of the two parties working together in the 15th General Election (GE15).

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said DAP has appointed his deputy Alice Lau to lead a three-member committee to handle the negotiations with PSB.

“So far, PSB has demanded to contest in one of our incumbent seats which I think that if we were to work together, that is not a reasonable demand.

“Because that means (DAP) has to drop one of our existing MPs to make way for PSB,” he told reporters after officiating at DAP’s Outstanding SPM Achievement Award Ceremony held at DAP Sarawak headquarters here today.

Chong explained that the negotiations should involve the allocation of seats which the Opposition did not win in the last general election while stressing that the incumbent seats held by respective parties should be off-limits.

“Likewise, Selangau which is the incumbent seat for PSB (held by Baru Bian), we don’t make demand to contest (in that seat).

“Another one, Lubok Antu (for which PSB has announced it would field its candidate Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa), we don’t make demand for that.

“To work together is to increase our (Opposition) seats and not for distribution ‘I’ll get more seats, you will get more seats’ (sic). It is to increase our chances against the ruling party, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS),” he elaborated.

He also opined that incumbency has advantages in elections and thus, he believed that Opposition MPs should be allowed to continue to defend their seats.

Meanwhile, Lau when contacted by DayakDaily today, confirmed the matter and disclosed that the seat eyed by PSB was Sibu, whose incumbent is Oscar Ling Chai Yew from DAP.

She also disclosed that since DAP was not able to give up the Sibu seat, PSB has made it clear that there is no negotiations left needed. — DayakDaily