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Seat swap: Sole PKR rep cries foul

 | April 2, 2011

Has Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian overstepped his authority with his arbitrary decision to swap the party's sole seat in the state assembly for DAP's Batu Lintang?

KUCHING: A stunned Padungan state constituency incumbent, Dominique Ng, has described the Padungan seat swap with DAP as a “betrayal and treachery” by state PKR leaders.

With four days to go before nomination on April 6 for the state polls, a furious Ng said: “I have been betrayed and sold off by the current Sarawak PKR leadership.

“I feel that my loyalty to the party has been repaid with betrayal and treachery by the leadership.”

Two days ago, DAP announced that matters of overlapping seats with PKR has finally been resolved and that PKR agreed to swap Padungan, much eyed by DAP, for its Batu Lintang seat.

Padungan is PKR’s sole seat in the Sarawak state assembly. Batu Lintang is held by DAP’s Voon Lee Shan.

Acording to Ng, both PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and deputy president Azmin Ali were unaware of the seat swap.

“Anwar and Azmin were surprised by the announcement. They came to see me and told me that they were not in the picture about the exchange of the seat,” he said.

Undecided as to his next move, Ng said that he is waiting for news from DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang.

“Anwar has just contacted him (Lim) regarding the whole issue. I am waiting for the news before I make any decision,” he said.

This is a ‘sell out’

Ng, who is confident of retaining his seat, has been making preparations for the coming election.

He has been raising issues of interest, almost on a daily basis, affecting voters in the constituency. He has also been making his rounds visiting voters.

Still reeling in shock, Ng blamed state PKR chief Baru Bian for the blunder. “Baru did not even tell me about it,” he said. “It is a sell-out.”

Baru who is away in Ba’Kelalan was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, Voon is keeping his cool and has accepted the decision of the leadership.

The decision to swap the two seats is part of the bargain in order to keep DAP in the Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat.

State DAP chairman, Wong Ho Leng, had earlier threatened to pull DAP out of the coalition if PKR and PAS remained adamant over overlapping seats. DAP is now confirmed to contest in 15 seats.

DAP wanted Padungan as it has a better chance of winning the seat since it is under the Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituency which is held by DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen.

Pending, which is the other state seat within the Bandar Kuching constituency, is held by DAP treasurer Violet Yong.

“Now that DAP will contest Padungan, it will further strengthen not only the party, but also Pakatan,” Chong said.

According to him, a group of rich businessmen had made plans to sponsor a candidate in the constituency if DAP did not contest.

Chong however declined to name who will contest the Padungan seat.

“You come on Saturday night to the DAP headquarters where our secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Kit Siang will announce the names of candidates for the southern region,” he told FMT.

Meanwhile, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has not indicated who will contest the seat on behalf of Barisan Nasional.

However, rumours are rife that Kuching mayor, James Chan may be the candidate. According to sources Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud wants him to contest.


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