Sarawak DAP, PKR leaders promise no more clashes in polls

baru-bian-dap-pkrKUCHING: Leaders of DAP and PKR in Sarawak have assured supporters that there will not be any clashes between the two opposition parties in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14).

State PKR chairman Baru Bian said the parties will avoid facing each other which had occurred during the state elections in May last year when they battled in six seats in multi-cornered fights.

“We have a union now. Our purpose is for us to be perceived by the public and the people as ready to go against BN (Barisan Nasional) one-to-one and that’s our commitment,” he said at a DAP fundraising dinner here last night.

“Yes, we had faced a little bit of problems in the last state election, but the past is the past because GE14 is the election for Malaysia,” the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman added.

Present were state DAP chairman and Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, state Amanah chief Fidzuan Zaidi, DAP’s Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo and DAP’s Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming.

In the run-up to the Sarawak election last year, ties between DAP and PKR were tested when some state-based politicians voiced unhappiness over seat allocations negotiated by national party leaders.

The disagreements led to fights in the six seats of Batu Kitang, Mulu, Murum, Simanggang, Ngemah and Mambong. All were eventually won by Barisan Nasional (BN).

Baru said the components of Pakatan Harapan hoped to be able to maintain their control over the five seats currently held by DAP and one by PKR.

“I agree with the theme tonight that the ‘times are bad and change we must.’ I agree. And I think there are no two ways about it. Najiib, Umno and BN must go.

“If it’s not done this GE14, I can’t foresee a win in the next 20 to 30 years to come. Change may not come,” he said.

In his speech, Chong said the parties were putting aside their differences in the interest of the nation.

He said the only way to protect Sarawak’s interest is to remove Umno from power.

He said former chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is now the state’s governor, had done a lot of “bad things”, although one good thing people acknowledge he achieved was to stop Umno from entering Sarawak.

“But can we rely on one person? In the long run, the doctrine of Umno will eventually come in and it will pollute our culture here.”

“So the only way to stop Umno from coming into Sarawak is to make Umno the opposition in the federal government,” Chong said.

Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats that will be up for contest in GE14.