KUCHING, April 24 — Sarawak PKR said today it is not involved in negotiations between its Pakatan Harapan (PH) partner DAP and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) to form a united front in preparation for the coming 15th general election (GE15).
Its acting chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh said he is in the dark over talks between the two parties as the PKR chapter has not received any invitation to join the discussion.
“Maybe they want to form a new pact,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail to respond to a statement by the state DAP deputy chairman Alice Lau that the state DAP and PSB will start first round of negotiations on April 26.
“As we are not invited or involved, the negotiations is purely between the two parties. That is how I look at it,” he said.
However, he said he does not know if the state PKR will be invited to participate in negotiations in future.
“If [DAP and PSB] really want to unite the Opposition parties in Sarawak, then all the Opposition parties should be invited to attend the negotiation to form a united front,” he said, adding that should be the logic to form a united front.
Abang Zulkfili said the state PKR will likely defend all 19 parliamentary seats that it contested in 2018 in the coming election.
“However, I cannot say that 19 seats are fixed to be contested by the state PKR, but maybe we will request more from Parti Amanah Negara,” he said referring to the third member of Sarawak PH.
He said the state PKR and Amanah are still negotiating over seats each wants to contest in GE15.
He added talks between the state PKR and DAP only involves Miri, currently held by Dr Michael Teo of the state PKR.
Abang Zulkifli said the state PKR would also like to contest the urban seats, instead of just the rural seats.
“We will negotiate [with the DAP] for us to contest in a few urban seats since we are also a multiracial party,” he said, adding that the state PKR may give away some of its rural seats to the DAP in exchange for the urban seats.
“Some people may think that the rural seats should be contested by the state PKR while the majority-Chinese seats to the DAP. It should not be the case as we are also a multiracial party,” he said.
Earlier today, Lau, who is also Lanang member of Parliament, said the talks between the DAP and PSB will focus on issues such as the party’s ideologies and the candidates.
She said if the outcome of the negotiations is successful, they may then rope in other Opposition parties.
She said the whole purpose of setting up a united front is to prevent Opposition parties from splitting votes as was the case during last year’s state election.
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