KUCHING: Politics has served Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (Sedar) president Datuk Othman Abdillah a harsh lesson when only five out of 28 individuals chosen to represent the party in the state election turned up on nomination day.
Harder still, his calls and WhatsApp messages to those who did a no-show have gone unanswered till now.
"I am not just frustrated and disappointed, I am sad. Those 23 people did not turn up and they did not inform us that they will not be sending in their nomination papers.
"We could have looked for other potential candidates had they informed the party (earlier) that they did not want to contest," he said.
Relating the incident to The Star on Thursday (Dec 9), Othman claimed that there is "somebody behind this incident" but declined to elaborate.
"This is only my suspicion. I have yet to find proof of this," he said.
Two months prior to the state election, Sedar had come up with a candidate list of 45 names.
"Our list got leaked and when it came closer to the election, we somehow could only manage to get 28 members to agree to contest.
"What happened on nomination day, I have already told you," he said.
Sedar's five contested seats are Opar, Muara Tuang, Lingga, Saribas and Samariang, where Othman himself is standing.
He said despite the small number of candidates, Sedar was eyeing victory in three or four seats.
Moving forward, he said the fight must go on for this new political set-up making its debut in the Dec 18 polls.
"We are new and vulnerable and will take this experience as a lesson to the party. Now, we will focus on winning (the seats).
"We will make sure this does not happen again when the time comes for the general election," he said.
Othman said any party which wants to bring Sedar in to form the government must agree to its policy of sharing profits derived from the state’s natural resources.