KUCHING: In a surprise twist, former Sarawak Workers’ Party (SWP) president Larry Sng will be contesting the Julau seat as an independent candidate, against popular expectation that he would run on a Pakatan Harapan (PH) ticket.
He will face Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) secretary-general Joseph Salang in a straight fight. Salang is also the four-term Julau MP.
Larry’s father, Sng Chee Hua, was the Julau MP from 1995 to 1999 but made way for Salang after that. Both came from the now-defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS).
Before nomination day, a key state PKR source told FMT that Larry had expressed interest in contesting Julau to the Sarawak PKR leadership.
In the 2013 general election, PKR was placed last in a three-cornered fight in Julau with a SWP candidate and the eventual winner, BN’s Joseph Salang. Salang won with a majority of 5,955 votes from a turnout of 16,677 voters.
Although Larry will face a stiff fight in Julau, the 39-year-old is out to prove that a Chinese can win in an Iban seat.
His family hails from Kapit and, like many Chinese families who live in the interior, is fluent in Iban. Both Larry and his father are former assemblymen for Pelagus.
In 2007, father and son were sacked from PRS following a protracted struggle with party president James Masing.
The Sngs later formed SWP and fielded five candidates in the 2013 polls, all of whom were defeated. Larry subsequently gave up the SWP presidency.
In his latest Facebook posting, Larry said: “18 years is enough. Time for Salang to make way for a younger and more energetic MP.”
Salang, 68, is a former federal deputy minister while Larry has served as a state assistant minister.
Julau has a total of 25,380 registered voters, the majority of whom are Ibans.
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