DAP and PKR at loggerheads over rural seats in Sarawak

Dr-Xavier-Jayakumar

PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission has yet to finalise the date for the Sarawak state elections, but already bad blood is brewing between two Pakatan Harapan component parties.

According to a Borneo Post Online report today, Dayak leaders of DAP have issued a joint statement against comments recently made by PKR’s Dr Xavier Jayakumar in Miri.

On January 30, the portal reported that Jayakumar said PKR would defend their rural seats which he claimed Sarawak DAP were eyeing.

In response, Dayak DAP leaders pointed out that PKR’s continued cooperation with PAS has made many Sarawakian’s lose confidence in the party, even after the formation of the new Opposition coalition of Pakatan Harapan, which the Islamist party is not a member of.

They also pointed out that DAP have been working in Miri for a longer time than PKR.

“The PKR always think that the Dayaks accept them but they never understand that the Dayaks were reluctantly doing so in previous elections because DAP had not gotten into the rural areas.

“The talk among people in the villages and longhouses is about DAP’s continuous effort, not PKR’s,” said DAP’s potential candidate for Mambong, Sanjan Daik in the statement.

He added that DAP had been consistent in serving the people, unlike PKR who only extended a form of ‘touch-and-go’ service.

DAP Serian deputy chairman Bunsin Kalun said that Jayakumar’s statement was irresponsible, while state DAP vice-chairman Leon Jimat Donald said PKR bigwigs from West Malaysia would occasionally come to the state and make implausible proclamations.

In the January 30 report, Jayakumar said PKR would defend the seats which they had worked hard for in the past two years or more.

He went on to state that if the DAP demanded PKR seats or challenged them for it, his party would have no choice but to take them on.

However, he said under the spirit of Pakatan Harapan, PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara had signed a common agreement that they would not fight each other and that no one should openly claim seats as theirs.