PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) has decided that in the upcoming general election it will focus only on 10 parliamentary seats, state coalition chairman Chong Chieng Jen said.
Chong, who is also one of PH’s six vice-presidents, said while the coalition does plan to contest all the state’s parliamentary seats, the 10, which have yet to be announced, are the ones it is most confident of attaining.
“We will focus on 10 urban and semi-urban seats, including what we already have. Those are the 10 seats that we believe are quite achievable.
“We are trying to be realistic and 10 seats, for us, is a reasonable figure. In politics, while we want to be confident, we also have to be realistic,” he said.
“The sentiment in West Malaysia is that if Sarawak PH can deliver 10 seats, then we can certainly capture Putrajaya,” Chong told FMT.
Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats. PH, comprising DAP, PKR and two-year-old Amanah, currently holds six of the seats — Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sarikei, Lanang, Sibu and Miri.
According to Chong, although 10 may seem like a small figure, actually it will be an increase of over 66%, which is “good enough”.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) associate professor Dr Jeniri Amir, in an interview with FMT last week, said he believed the results of the next general election would be no different than the last.
“The best the opposition can expect is to maintain its 2013 performance,” the political analyst had said.
He added that in the worst case scenario, PH will see similar results as last year’s state election, where they lost even in places which they thought were their strongholds.
When asked about this, and if Amanah’s presence can help PH grow its influence in Sarawak, Chong said he believes it can. This is despite Amanah’s failure to deliver any seat in the 2016 state elections.
“Everyone has an influence over those surrounding them. As a party, the influence is greater. There are certain areas that Amanah will contest in, where they will make an impact.
“They will do better than in the state elections because this parliamentary election will be their second outing (in Sarawak). Surely, their presence will be greater this time,” said Chong.
The 14th general election has to be held before August.