Pakatan aims for straight fights in 82 S’wak state seats

Datuk-Saifuddin-Abdullah

SHAH ALAM: Pakatan Harapan is drawing up a strategy for a straight fight with Barisan Nasional in the upcoming Sarawak state election.

But it may not contest all 82 seats, taking into account PAS’ expression of interest in contesting 11 seats.

Pakatan Harapan Chief Secretary Saifuddin Abdullah said: “Our principle is that we want to make sure it will be a one-on-one fight.

“We don’t want BN to win uncontested,” he said after the Pakatan meeting on the Sarawak elections at the Concorde Hotel.

“If other Opposition parties like PAS want to contest, then we won’t rule out not contesting in all 82 seats,” Saifuddin said.

The meeting today, by the PKR, DAP and Amanah central and state leadership, unanimously agreed to consider PAS’ interest in contesting in the state election, which must be called by end June.

On Saturday, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the Islamic party would contest in 11 seats and would negotiate with PKR over one of two overlapping seats.

PKR was led by Vice-President Tian Chua, DAP by National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua and Amanah by Vice-President Dr Hatta Ramli.

Admittedly, Saifuddin said the prolonged negotiations arose from the newly-defined election borders which led to new state seats and change in voter profiles. The meeting had “done a lot” to improve the seat allocation discussions.

Time is of the essence as the Election Commission has not announced a date, but the Opposition targets to resolve the internal seat allocation by end March.

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem previously said he had proposed late April as the election date to the Election Commission.