KUCHING: Sarawak Pakatan Harapan have agreed on the seat allocation for the next general election (GE14) for the parliamentary seats in the state.
The opposition coalition, comprising DAP, PKR and Amanah, said it will maintain status quo by contesting the same seats it did in the last general election (GE13) on May 5, 2013.
Sarawak, which will only see parliamentary elections during GE14 as state elections were conducted last May, has 31 federal seats up for grabs. Currently, DAP and PKR control only six seats, while the remainder are under Barisan Nasional.
With the agreement, Amanah, which participated in its first election in Sarawak last May, will run in the five seats previously contested by PAS.
In GE13, PKR contested in 15 seats but only won one seat (Miri), while DAP contested in 11 seats and won five – Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sibu, Lanang and Sarikei.
The agreement was signed by Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian and Sarawak Amanah chairman Fidzuan Zaidi before a press conference to announce the matter at the DAP state headquarters here today. Also present were other opposition leaders from the three parties.
“There may be some variations but that will be subject to mutual agreement by the parties involved. Failing any mutual agreement, we will fall back to the arrangement that the party that contested a particular seat in GE13 will again contest it in GE14,” Chong said.
The coalition has also set up a secretariat consisting of two representatives from each party, namely Alan Ling Sie Kiong and Wong King Wei from DAP, Nicholas Bawin and Lynette Tan Pin from PKR, and Abang Halil Abang Naili and Fadhilah Sabali from Amanah.
The secretariat will coordinate activities and cooperation among the parties and be responsible for the drafting of the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan joint manifesto for GE14, Chong said.
When asked about his candidacy, Baru said PKR’s national leadership has yet to finalise whether he would be contesting in a parliamentary seat.
“At the moment, I don’t think so,” the Ba’kelalan state assemblyman said. “We follow the old constituencies contested, so there’s no indication that I should be in the parliamentary race yet. We have put it out to our candidates, and we have a lot of qualified people in PKR.
“We really hope that with this cooperation announced today, all Sarawakians would work together with us to realise the vision and dreams of all of us for change,” he added.
Chong assured that the coalition would “work together” to “save the country”.
“GE14 shall be the most important General Elections in the history of Malaysia.
“Malaysia and all Malaysians cannot afford to give Najib and the BN another five years,” he added.
During the state elections last May, DAP and PKR clashed in six state seats in Sarawak, including the newly-created Batu Kitang constituency. The opposition were soundly beaten by BN in these multi-cornered fights.
DAP had contested 31 state seats, winning seven, while PKR retained its three seats, out of the 40 it contested. Amanah lost all 13 seats it contested in its debut election.
DAP also lost five state seats of the twelve it had from before, with BN component Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) taking back control of Batu Kawah, Repok, Meradong, Dudong, and Piasau.
Source: Free Malaysia Today