KUCHING, Nov 29 — The state PKR today denied claims made by the state DAP that it is greedy and wants to contest more seats in next month’s state election.
State PKR information chief Abun Sui Anyit maintained that most of the seats that it will be contesting are those that the state DAP has limited or no grassroots presence in.
“The majority of these are seats that DAP itself does not wish to contest,” he said when responding to state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s recent claims that the state PKR should focus on the 47 seats it would be contesting instead of trying to grab more seats from the state DAP.
Abun said rural seats in Sarawak are particularly challenging to win due to campaign logistics, a lack of digital connectivity and voter education.
“If the state PKR does not contest in these seats, particularly the rural ones, then we will be giving Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) a free pass akin to a walkover.
“We have, therefore, taken on the responsibility of contesting in a large number of seats in the past as a way of supporting Sarawak grassroots activists and local communities against the blatant corruption, injustice and excesses that have plagued Sarawak for far too long.
“However, in the seats where there are currently overlapping claims with DAP, the state PKR has always maintained that candidate selection must be based on clear facts, figures and candidate key performance index in order to put the best winnable candidate,” he said.
He said selecting a candidate with strong grassroots presence and support is vital in Sarawak.
A seat swap with the state PKR’s partners is reasonable if the state PKR is able to show it has a stronger candidate with a better chance of winning that seat, he added
Abun said the state PKR wants to continue engaging with the state DAP to find the best winning formula for seats in the state election.
He said it is the state PKR’s priority to empower the people of Sarawak, particularly in the rural heartland, to demand political and socio-economic reform through free and fair election.