KUCHING, Nov 26 — The state DAP handed over letters of authorisation for 18 candidates today, including 11 new faces, to use its logo in the state election, becoming the first party to do so.
State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the remaining eight candidates will be announced after Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has named its line-up and after the conclusion of its negotiation with Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).
“We will make some adjustment involving candidates contesting in those seats in Kuching area,” told reporters after handing over the letters to the candidates.
He also said he could move to Batu Kawah from his Kota Sentosa seat.
“Yes, there is a possibility,” he said, adding he may challenge incumbent Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president.
“The delay in announcing names of the candidates for the Kuching area is for strategic reasons,” he said.
The Chinese-majority seats in the Kuching area are Batu Lintang, Pending, Kota Sentosa, Batu Kawah, Stakan and Batu Kitang, all of which are traditionally contested by SUPP.
Chong said the state DAP is still negotiating with PSB on which party should contest the Dudong and Bawang Assan seats in the Sibu area.
He said the previous negotiation over the two seats had not been successful.
“We are willing to compromise and our doors are still open for final arrangement with PSB,” he said.
He explained that the state DAP has yet to finalise the names of its candidates for the two seats until negotiations with PSB have concluded.
He said the two parties should cooperate and fight against GPS in the two seats.
Chong, however, said he would not place a deadline for PSB to agree with the state DAP, adding that PSB should not come up with a last minute decision.
Among the 11 fresh faces receiving their letter of authorisation, which Chong signed, are Tony Chiew who replaces his father Chiew Chiu Sing in Tanjung Batu and Kenneth Lagong, son of a former state assemblyman George Lagong, who will stand in Pelagus.
Senator Alan Ling Sie Kiong, the state DAP secretary, will contest in Pujut this time.
In the 2016 state election, he failed to defend his Piasau seat when he lost to SUPP secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting.
Newcomer Yong Siew Wei (Meradong) and incumbent Irene Mary Chang Oi Ling (Bukit Assek) are the two women candidates so far named to contest in the state election.