Disgruntled DAP members in Miri are demanding a new candidate for the GE.
The faction is apparently opposing the leadership’s decision to field Eunice Lim Sui Kien as its candidate in the 13th general election.
The incumbent in Miri is the current Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) president Peter Chin who is also a federal minister. SUPP is a BN component party.
The Miri parliamentary constituency comprises three state seats – Piasau, Senadin and Pujut.
In last April’s state elections, SUPP lost Piasau and Pujut to DAP and won Senadin by a mere 58 seats.
DAP has been on the roll since its victorious outing last April, when it wrested 12 seats from BN and SUPP.
Planning its candidate list for the 13th GE, DAP had proposed Lim’s name last month.
The announcement came under heavy fire from a faction within the party which claimed that Lim was a loser and not winnable.
Lim, 39, had previously contested in Bintulu in the 2008 GE. She lost to BN-Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) candidate Tiong King Sing.
Some 30 disgruntled DAP members recently held a public protest in Miri discrediting the party’s decision.
They also urged the public to cast their spoilt votes.
‘We need a two-party system’
Commenting on news reports of the protest, Sarawak DAP secretary-general, Chong Chieng Jen urged members to ‘put aside their personal vendetta’ and ‘look at the bigger picture’.
“To call on the people to cast their spoilt votes is the silliest thing to do.
“Party members should not undermine the Pakatan Rakyat chance of winning the seat.
“We want them to put aside their personal vendetta against Lim and to look at a bigger picture that is we need a change of government. We need a two party system.”
Chong, who is the MP for Bandar Kuching and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said members should not undermine the party’s decision because it would only destroy all that it had achieved thus far.
“A decision is a decision, and the way they are going against it is going to destroy the party.
“I don’t think the party should be run in this way,” he added.
Chong said party leaders were aware of anti-Lim faction and had attempted to engage them in discussions.
He said two dialogues including a hearing had been held in Miri with party members with regard to the selection of the candidate for the Miri constituency.
The last one was held on May 27, 2012 which was chaired by Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng.
Chong, who was also present at the May 27 session, said that as soon as the dialogue began, two members carried a tray of eggs and put it on the table in front of the chairman.
“I have never seen any dialogue being carried out whereby a tray of eggs is put on a table in front of party leaders.
“It is a form of threat. They will throw the eggs,” he said.
He said that prior to the dialogue, a member had sent an SMS to Wong threatening to throw eggs at him if the party continued to nominate Lim as the candidate.
“Although we will not take into heart, it just shows their personal vendetta against Lim has already blurred their sensible thinking, ” he said, urging members to set aside their differences and ‘toe the party line’.
PKR eyeing Miri
Meanwhile PKR, another Pakatan partner, is waiting on the sideline hoping to cash in on a disunited DAP.
PKR has been insisting on fielding its candidate for Miri during earlier the Pakatan coalition’s seat negotiations. Both DAP and PKR are coalition members.
PKR believes that their candidate Michael Teo has a strong chance at winning the seat.
In the last April state election, Teo lost the Senadin seat to SUPP’s Lee Kim Shin by a contentious 58 votes.
SUPP, which is also facing internal strive, on its part has apparently identified two candidates, one of which is Chin himself.
The other candidate is Sebastian Ting.