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Thursday April 22, 2010

Sarawak DAP refutes SUPP’s allegation over naming of candidate

andychua@thestar.com.my

SIBU: Sarawak DAP has refuted an allegation that the delay in announcing its candidate for the Sibu by-election was due to a split in the party.

Publicity secretary David Wong said the party had deliberately held back naming its candidate as one of its strategies in the by-election on May 16.

He said the party had already finalised the candidate and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng would make the announcement here next Tuesday.

“Our decision not to make known our candidate so soon is because we want to make a big impact in the by-election. We also want to be fully prepared, so there is no hurry for us to announce our candidate. If you say there is a split in the party, it is a big joke.

“All of us, including those who were shortlisted as candidates, will respect the decision and stand united with the chosen candidate,” he said in response to the allegation by Sibu Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) publicity secretary Daniel Ngieng on Monday.

Wong pointed out that DAP was now focused on making sure that the newly-formed Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat would work because they would be contesting in all 71 state seats in the polls due middle of next year.

On another allegation that he had refused to stand in the by-election as he wanted to contest in the state election, Wong said: “Nobody in the party is lobbying for candidacy. We have in fact geared ourselves for the state election.

“The by-election just came unexpectedly. For senior leaders like Wong Ho Leng (Sarawak DAP chairman) and myself, if we are asked by our CEC (central executive committee) to contest in the election, we will have to take it.

“The CEC knows who will be the most suitable candidate, so we must all be prepared for their decision. We do not lobby for seats.”

DAP’s shortlisted candidates are Ho Leng, Wong, Sibu DAP deputy chairman Lau Hui Ung, assistant organising secretary Stephen Lu, Ho Leng’s special assistants Yap Hoi Liong and Oscar Ling, and members Alice Lau Kiong Yieng and Wong Ching Yong.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was expected to announce the name of the Pakatan candidate on Sunday in Sibu but he said it was not the right time or place.

The Sibu by-election was called following the death of Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew.

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