No pact with PSB in coming Sarawak polls, says state PKR chief

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR has ruled out the possibility of cooperating with Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) in the coming state election following the latter's intention to contest all 82 seats.

Its chairman Larry Sng said PSB's hardline position left no room for Sarawak PKR to consider working with it.

"We will not wait for month's end to pursue seat negotiations. Effectively, any notion of an alliance between Keadilan and PSB is now dead.

"This is unlikely to change since both parties have been discussing for months, without any resolution," he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Feb 2).

As such, he said, Sarawak PKR would contest 47 state seats alongside its coalition partners DAP and Amanah.

Sng had earlier given an ultimatum that a seat-sharing deal with PSB must be secured by the end of this month.

He said Sarawak PKR was willing to negotiate up to half of its seats with PSB, excluding the three seats won on the PKR ticket in the 2016 state polls.

His comments came after PSB rejected Sarawak Pakatan Harapan's proposal for cooperation, reiterating its intention to contest every seat.

On Sunday (Jan 31), Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen suggested a seat-sharing ratio of 70% for Sarawak Pakatan – 30% each going to DAP and PKR and 10% to Amanah – and the remaining 30% to PSB.

Earlier this year, Sarawak Pakatan announced that it had reached a consensus on seat allocation well ahead of the election, with PKR to contest 47 seats, DAP 26 and Amanah nine.

In the 2016 polls, PKR and DAP failed to resolve several overlapping claims, resulting in clashes between both parties in six seats.

PSB, which splintered from the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) in 2014, is now in the opposition after deciding to become an independent party in 2019.

It was previously part of the state government although not a member of the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak coalition, which comprises PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu), SUPP, Parti Rakyat Sarawak and Progressive Democratic Party.

After former PKR assemblymen Baru Bian (Ba'kelalan) and See Chee How (Batu Lintang) joined PSB last year, the party now has six elected representatives in the state legislature, making it the biggest opposition party.

Sarawak DAP, meanwhile, has five representatives after Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon was disqualified for previously acquiring Australian citizenship and Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei quit the party.

Sarawak PKR, which won three seats in 2016, is left with none following the defection of Baru and See to PSB and Krian assemblyman Datuk Ali Biju to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

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