Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sarawak DAP eyeing more rural seats

Following its mega success in the recent state polls, Sarawak DAP is now eyeing four Dayak-majority parliamentary seats.
KUCHING : In the coming parliamentary election, Sarawak DAP is targeting Mas Gading, Mambong, Serian and Sri Aman which are Dayak majority constituencies as part of its aim to shed away its image as a Chinese party.

“Even though the four parliamentary seats are Dayak majority, there are however substantial numbers of Chinese voters,” said state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen.

“I believe we have every good chance of winning the seats for the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in the coming parliamentary polls,” he said, pointing out that the party was also encouraged by its recent electoral success when it won 12 seats out of 15 it contested.

The Mas Gading constituency has 23,199 voters, of which about 1,500 are Chinese voters, whereas in Mambong, the total electorate is about 38,307, made up of 10,544 Chinese voters.

As for Serian, there are about 4,000 Chinese voters in the 29,969-strong electorate, and in Sri Aman, there are 27,064 voters, 4,555 of them are Chinese voters.

DAP is also eyeing eight more state seats – Opar, Bengoh, Tarat, Tupong, Satok, Kedup and Balai Ringin in the next state polls, he said.

The party’s targets are encouraged by the good response given by the Dayaks to the DAP candidates in the recently concluded election.

The party’s victories in Batu Kawah and Kota Sentosa were in part due to the support given by the Dayak voters.

“The support of Dayak voters for me was very encouraging in Kota Sentosa,” Chong said, pointing out that there are more than 5,000 Dayak voters in that constituency.

PKR should contest in less seats

Chong said that the party was forming branches in Opar, Bengoh and Tarat, adding that in order to win these rural seats, the party has to start early.

“I will propose to the state DAP which will meet today (Sunday) in Sibu that we contest these eight seats and four parliamentary seats in future elections,” said Chong.

“This is in view of the fact that part reasons of PKR’s failure to win more seats are because it lacked financial resources, poor election machinery and weak manpower.

“This is openly admitted by Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian himself,” he said, suggesting that PKR should not contest in 49 seats which had over-stretched their resources.

“Even before the election, we had proposed to contest seats like Balai Ringin and Bengoh. It was PKR’s insistence that they contested the seats claiming they had enough resources and to deliver the seats to Pakatan.

“Initially we asked for 18 seats and the number of seats to be contested by us were reduced to 16 and then 15, and finally we gave in order to preserve unity in the Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.

Joseph Tawie FMT

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