Abang Johari: Not aware of any discussions with Bersatu yet

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has not received any invitation from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to discuss the state election, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“I’m not aware of any discussions. If we get an invitation, we will see what the objectives are,” he told reporters after a meet-the-people session in Kabong, in Betong division, yesterday.

He was asked to comment on Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin’s statement that the party would hold discussions with Perikatan Nasional and GPS to prepare strategies for the state polls

Abang Johari also said it was up to Bersatu if the party wanted to contest.

“It’s their decision, but we are firm with our decision (to contest in all 82 seats),” he said.

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP unveiled 18 of the 26 candidates it will be fielding in the election.

Among the new faces are Tony Chiew, who will replace his father Chiew Chiu Sing in Tanjong Batu, and Baleh candidate Kenneth Lagong, the son of former Independent Pelagus assemblyman George Lagong.

Defending their seats will be Irene Chang in Bukit Assek and David Wong in Pelawan.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the senior Chiew, who had served four terms as Tanjong Batu assemblyman, was stepping back from frontline politics.

Chong said eight more candidates would be announced later, after GPS names its line-up and to allow for negotiations with Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).

He said DAP would “adjust” its candidates for six Chinese-majority urban seats in the Kuching area depending on who is fielded by GPS component party Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

The six seats are Pending, Padungan, Kota Sentosa, Batu Kawah, Batu Kitang and Stakan.

On two other seats in the Sibu area – Bawang Assan and Dudong – he said the DAP was holding off on announcing its candidates in order to negotiate with Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB).

“Negotiations with PSB before this were not very successful. Nevertheless, we are willing to compromise,” he said.

Bawang Assan and Dudong were previously held by PSB.

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