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KUCHING, Sept 27: Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) should not be overly confident of winning the Mambong seat in the next state election.
Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth deputy chairman, Andrew Victor Nub, believed that voters would support the state ruling coalition Gabungan Party Sarawak (GPS), rather than PSB or Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the next state polls due 2021.
He reminded that when the current elected representative Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, who is former PSB deputy president, won the seat in the 2016 state polls, he was contesting as a Barisan Nasional (BN) direct candidate.
Dr Jerip was not representing PSB, which was formerly known as United People’s Party (UPP) at the time. He was given the opportunity to contest as a direct BN candidate in exchange to resigning from UPP, as the party was not a coalition member of the state Barisan.
GPS coalition members, consisting Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and SUPP, were part of Barisan but left the coalition following its defeat in the 14th general election last year.
“Dr Jerip and the rest of the then UPP elected representatives who stood as direct BN candidates were supposed to join a coalition component member or remain an independent candidate if they win the seat, but they all opted to rejoin UPP and declaring the party as state government-friendly.
“They have opted to act against what they promised, against what the voters expected,” he said in a statement, while also referencing other UPP lawmakers – Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan), Datuk Ranum Mina (Opar) and Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili).
Andrew was responding to PSB president Wong, who was reported in the media yesterday, as saying that the party will contest in Mambong in the next state election.
Wong, a former minister in the state Cabinet, argued that since Dr Jerip had won the seat when he was a member of PSB, only meant the party is ready to defend it against anybody including GPS and Pakatan.
This included contesting against Dr Jerip if he is nominated by GPS come state election.
In this regards, Andrew said that he was not too concern about the claim made by Wong, saying that any political party can express their interest to contest in any seat in the next state polls, as it is their democratic rights.
However, with the election due in 2021, he reminded that all interested parties should concentrate their energies into serving the people, fight for the people’s rights and deliver.
He believed that when the time comes, GPS top leadership will allocate Mambong to SUPP, as it was traditionally allocated to the party.
Andrew added that SUPP will also fight to contest in all traditional seats including Bawang Assan, Opar and Engkilili.
“SUPP has many potential and young candidates in the party who would be able to represent the rakyat in these constituencies.”
PSB, formerly known as UPP, is a splinter party of SUPP. Wong left SUPP with the other said lawmakers to form UPP in 2014.
Dr Jerip resigned from PSB on July 11 but remained friendly with GPS. He was appointed Assistant Transportation Minister following a Cabinet reshuffle after Wong resigned from his Second Finance Minister and Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce posts. — DayakDaily