PKR to contest 47 seats in Sarawak election, says state party secretary

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PKR will field 47 candidates in the upcoming Sarawak election. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
PKR will field 47 candidates in the upcoming Sarawak election. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUCHING, Nov 14 — PKR will field 47 candidates in the upcoming Sarawak election, the Opposition party’s state secretary Joshua Jabeng said today.

He disclosed that the number of seats has been decided based on negotiations with its Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition partners, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara.

“We will contest in 47 seats based on an arrangement with our Pakatan Harapan partners DAP and Amanah,” Jabeng said when asked.

Jabeng said he will run in Kakus while acting Sarawak PKR chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh will stand in Beting Maro.

He added that Sarawak PKR information chief Abun Sui Anyit will contest in Murum and the state PKR Women secretary Cherishe Ng will stand in Batu Lintang, which was won by See Chee How on the party’s ticket in the 2016 state election.

Jabeng said Cherishe’s father and former Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng Kim Ho will not contest this time either.

Jabeng also said he has not seen any resignation letter from Sarawak PKR Women chief Agnes Padan who was said to have quit the party in protest over its choice of candidate to contest in Ba’Kelalan.

Using a football team as an analogy, Jabeng said each player is expected to follow the instructions from the captain.

“If you are a winger, you can’t play the role of a goalkeeper at the same time,” he said, adding that each player has a different role to play.

He added Padan will automatically be sacked from the party if she contests as an independent in Ba’Kelalan.

He said the state PKR has almost finalised its list of candidates for the state election, adding that only the candidates for two seats have not been named.

He said PKR, DAP and Amanah reached the agreement on the Sarawak seats some time ago, thereby avoiding a recurrence of the clashes that happened in Election 2016.

In the last state election, PKR and DAP clashed in Simanggang, Mambong, Ngemah,

Murum, Mulu and Batu Kitang, which were all won by the then state Barisan Nasional.

Jabeng said most of the seats allocated to state PKR are in the rural areas, especially the Dayak seats.

“We are more known in the rural areas than the DAP,” he said, adding that the DAP is known in the urban and semi-urban constituencies.

The Sarawak state legislative assembly has 82 seats in total, the largest in the country.

The four component parties now under the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak — Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Sarawak United People’s Party and Progressive Democratic Party — swept 72 seats in the last state election before they withdrew from the Barisan Nasional coalition following the 2018 general election.

The assembly was dissolved on November 3, and an election must be held within 60 days.

The Election Commission is meeting on November 24 to decide the date for the Sarawak polls.

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