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Overlapping seats: We’ll sort it out, says DAP

 | June 18, 2012

Sarawak DAP is committed to seeing a 'one-on-one' fight with Barisan Nasional and will not let 'egos' stand in the way.

KUCHING: Opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat will not allow ‘egos’ within the group to stand in the way of its strategy in the coming election.

Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen said the coalition will maintain its one-on-one fight policy against Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 13th general election.

“It is understandable that each party has its own preferred candidates. This is normal.

“Each party has its own credible candidate before the party can stake claim on any seats.

“But as far as we are concerned, the negotiation is still ongoing,” Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, told newsmen here yesterday.

Chong was responding to reports that DAP and PKR are at loggerheads in some seats. Among those ‘disputed’ were the Mas Gading, Stampin, Sri Aman and Miri parliamentary constituencies.

Both sides believe that their respective candidates have the best chances of tearing down BN in these areas.

DAP’s victory – winning 12 out of 15 seats it contested – in last April’s state election was its best ever performance since 1979. Although the bulk of its wins’ were in Chinese majority seats, the party had noted an ‘impressive’ swing to the opposition in Malay and mixed areas.

Following its success, DAP immediately announced that it will seek to contest in mixed Chinese-Iban majority constituencies. To that end, it launched its Dayak Consultative Council and proposed to set up a RM1 billion fund for Dayak development.

DAP announced recently it would contest in 12 to 15 seats of the 31 parliamentary constituencies in Sarawak.

It currently holds two seats – Bandar Kuching and Bandar Sibu, which it wrested from Barisan Nasional in a by-election in May 2010.

‘Anticipating a major breakthrough’

PKR is also eyeing 12 to 14 seats. Of these seats it believes it has the strongest chance in at least seven seats.

PKR, which won three seats – Ba Kelalan, Krian and Batu Lintang and losing Senadin by a hair-breath – last April, claims its been seriously working the ground in the mixed and rural areas.

On Saturday, PKR central deputy president Azmin Ali announced that the party was ‘anticipating a major breakthrough’ in Sarawak despite rumours to the contrary.

Azmin said the state level leaders were ‘focused’ and are ‘consolidating’ their strengths in urban and rural areas.

“Under the new state leadership, we are able to consolidate and strengthen our positions not only in urban areas, but in the rural areas as well.

“The support for PKR has been very forthcoming. I am confident that we will make a major breakthrough in the coming general election in the state,” he reportedly told Radio Free Sarawak, after launching the party’s election machinery here.

RFS is PKR’s key ally in its campaign to win over the state almost 50% Iban population.

On Saturday, Azmin praised RFS for its important role in instilling political awareness among the rural areas.

He said because of RFS’s daily broadcast in the Iban language, the rural Sarawakians are fully aware of their rights.

“Because of RFS, Sarawakians know what is happening even though they are in the remote areas in the state, ” he said, adding that PKR had distributed some 3,000 units of radio sets in the rural areas especially where PKR is likely to contest.


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