KUCHING: United People’s Party (UPP) has submitted its list of candidates for the upcoming general election but the party will leave the selection of parliamentary candidates to the top federal and state Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership.
UPP secretary-general George Lo said the party has submitted its list of candidates to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in respect of the forthcoming Parliamentary election.
“We trust the wisdom of the prime minister and the chief minister as the respective heads of federal and state Barisan Nasional to pick the most winnable candidates for each constituency.
“In my view, it is premature for anyone to say that they will definitely get seven seats just as it was premature before the last Sarawak state election in 2016 for them to say that they will get 21 seats and would not accept a seat less,” said Lo in a press statement today.
He was responding to the recent news where Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian claimed that SUPP had the blessings from the federal government to field candidates in the seven parliamentary seats allocated to the party.
Lo said political reality today dictated that the coalition must field the most winnable candidates.
“The concept of a hereditary seat that will go to a party regardless of its candidate’s chances of winning is now over.
“This is clearly evidenced by the last Sarawak state elections where the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem fielded direct candidates from BN-friendly parties like UPP and UPP was able to deliver 72 per cent success in the seats it contested.
“To this day, UPP leaders hold key positions in the State Cabinet and local government positions. This proves that UPP is and has always been part of the BN family,” said Lo.
He said UPP believed that this time around, BN has a formula to select the most winnable candidate for each constituency.
“We have faith that the candidates that we have put forward to the PM and CM are the most winnable candidates.
“We leave it to the BN leadership to make the final decision on choice of candidates,” Lo said.