KUCHING: The announcement that Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing would contest the Dudong seat as a Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) candidate came as a surprise, says Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Han (pic).
However, the Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP) president said they would accept it as a GPS decision.
"When I was told about it, I was so shocked. Just 24 hours before, it wasn't like that. It is a GPS decision, so we accept it.
"But I was emotional as this was not part of our understanding," said Dr Sim at a press conference in the party's Batu Kawah office here.
Traditionally, SUPP has always contested in Dudong, a state seat within the Lanang parliamentary constituency.
However, during the GPS candidate announcement event on Friday (Dec 3), coalition chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, would contest in Dudong.
Dr Sim, however, urged SUPP supporters to move on and not dwell on the decision.
"Let's consolidate and focus on the 18 seats that SUPP will be contesting," said Dr Sim, who will be defending the Batu Kawah seat.
When asked if SUPP would campaign for Tiong in Dudong, Dr Sim said the party would focus on its own battles first.
"If you have a house, you must look after it first before you care about others," he said.
In the 11th Sarawak Election in 2016, Datuk Tiong Thai King won the Dudong seat under a Barisan Nasional ticket.
When asked about his opponents in Batu Kawah, including Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii from DAP, he said he did not know how many candidates would contest.
"I do not know how many candidates there will be in Batu Kawah. But we will never underestimate anyone," said Dr Sim.
Nomination Day for the 12th Sarawak Election will be on Dec 6 while polling day on Dec 18.