Wrong to pick greenhorn for state polls, says ex-Sarawak DAP branch chief

Former DAP Serian chief Edward Andrew Luwak (left) is unhappy with the decision by Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen to field a new face in Bukit Semuja.

KUCHING: A former Sarawak DAP branch leader has criticised state party chief Chong Chieng Jen over his purported decision to field a greenhorn candidate for Bukit Semuja in the upcoming state election.

Former DAP Serian branch chief Edward Andrew Luwak said Chong told him he would not be nominated for the seat again and that a new face would be introduced.

Luwak, 67, who announced his resignation from DAP last Sunday, said he believed that Serian youth chief Brolin Nicholson was Chong’s choice of candidate for the seat.

“The decision to quit is stated in a letter to the party. I don’t need to go into detail but I just want to say I have lost confidence in the party’s leadership,” Luwak told FMT.

However, he said he would not be retiring from politics although he had not decided yet on joining another party.

Chong later said Luwak had decided to leave the party because the state leadership did not pick him as a candidate for Bukit Semuja. He said Luwak seemed unhappy when he mentioned that he would not be fielded.

“Indeed I was unhappy. I don’t deny it but I have a reason which I believe is valid,” Luwak said.

“To me, Chong would prefer someone he can make use of. He wants to be far above the rest. In the event Pakatan Harapan forms the government and Nicholson wins, do you think Chong will consider putting up his name for appointment?

“He will certainly say ‘he (Nicholson) is too junior’ and others will get the job.

“Nicholson has been handpicked by Chong. The Serian committee was bypassed. I groomed Nicholson but his time has not yet come to contest the election.”

He said Nicholson was a young graduate who had just completed his convocation early this year.

Luwak said he was willing to give way to any suitable “mature” candidate if there was any who was “liked and well known to the people”.

He said the state DAP leadership had also failed to critically analyse why it had not won in Serian and Bukit Semuja in the past three elections.

Luwak had contested unsuccessfully under the DAP for the Serian parliamentary seat in the 2013 general election and for the Bukit Semuja seat in the 2016 state elections.

He contested in Serian again in the 2018 general election but was defeated by Richard Riot of the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP).

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