Monday, March 20, 2017

Opposition puts on united front with Pakatan Harapan as GE14 looms

DAP, PKR and Amanah leaders join hands after the announcement of Pakatan Harapan Sarawak. Seated from left are Stampin MP Julian Tan, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, Fidzuan, Chong, Baru, Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei and DAP’s Chong Siew Chiang.

Pakatan Harapan Sarawak to take on Barisan Nasional in coming general election

KUCHING: DAP Sarawak, PKR Sarawak and Amanah Sarawak have officially formed a coalition called Pakatan Harapan Sarawak to take on Barisan Nasional (BN) in all the 31 parliamentary seats in the state in the coming 14th General Election (GE14).

However, PAS Sarawak, which was previously a component member of the old opposition pact known as Pakatan Rakyat, is not included in the new alliance.

In a joint press statement, DAP  Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian and Amanah Sarawak chairman Fidzuan Zaidi also said they have concluded seat allocation negotiations between the three parties for the GE14.

“Basically, the agreement is that, in GE14 the respective parties will contest the parliamentary seats previously contested by each of them in GE13, with Amanah to contest those seats previously contested by PAS.

“There may be some variations but that will be subject to mutual agreement of the parties involved. Failing any mutual agreement, we will fall back to the arrangement that the party which contested that particular seat in GE13 will contest the seat in GE14,” they said at the joint press conference held at DAP Sarawak headquarters here yesterday.

They also said the three parties have set up a secretariat consisting of two representatives from each party.

From DAP Sarawak are secretary Alan Ling and youth chief Wong King Wei; PKR Sarawak representatives are secretary Nicholas Bawin and assistant secretary Lynette Tan; and representatives from Amanah Sarawak are secretary Abang Halil and youth chief Fadhilah Sabali.

“The secretariat will co-ordinate activities and cooperation amongst the three parties and shall be responsible for the drafting of Pakatan Harapan Sarawak’s joint manifesto for GE14,” they added.

They also said they are open to and welcome other opposition parties who are true to their cause. “GE14 shall be the most important general election in the history of Malaysia. It shall be the time to save Malaysia from the fate of a kleptocracy nation and to save all Malaysians from the economic disaster that BN has pushed us into.

“Malaysia and Malaysians cannot afford to give Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the BN another five years. Change, we must, for the future of our children and the country. Therefore, we Pakatan Harapan Sarawak shall do our best to work together to change the government and the country.” they said.

In GE13 held in May 2013, PKR contested in 15 seats but only won one seat – Miri. DAP contested in 11 seats and won five – Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sibu, Lanang and Sarikei. Amanah was not formed yet at that time, but it will contest the five seats previously contested by PAS. There are a total of 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Chong who is also Bandar Kuching MP brushed aside talks of seat swapping among Pakatan Harapan Sarawak components taking place at the moment, stressing that seat allocation would remain the same.

Baru, on the other hand, indicated that he will not contest in GE14 although he stood but lost to the BN incumbent in Limbang in GE13 four years ago. But the Ba Kelalan assemblyman stressed that PKR Sarawak does not lack qualified people to stand as candidates in GE14.

“We have submitted a list of candidates to (national leaders in) Kuala Lumpur. I am ready to support,” he said.

On behalf of Amanah Sarawak, Fidzuan thanked the other components for including them in Pakatan Harapan Sarawak which he hoped would be seen as a ‘new hope’ and alternative to BN for voters in GE14.

~ Borneo Post

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