SARATOK: In exchange for withdrawing from the Krian state seat contest, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's Datuk Ali Biju (pic) wants Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to let him defend the Saratok parliamentary seat in GE15.
Ali said this was a suitable repayment for his sacrifice for stepping aside in Krian - a seat he had held for two terms - and throwing support to GPS in the constituency.
"I am hoping that with our sacrifice in giving GPS a chance in Krian, they would in return allow Bersatu to contest in Saratok.
"Negotiations are ongoing at the top leadership level of GPS and Bersatu," said Ali at a press conference at his service centre here.
On Monday (Dec 6), Ali submitted his nomination as an Independent candidate in Krian - defying Bersatu's decision to stay out of the 12th Sarawak election.
However on Thursday (Dec 9), he made a U-turn and announced his withdrawal from the Krian contest - which was a four way fight with GPS, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and Parti Bumi Kenyalang.
Ali said his decision was in respect of Bersatu's and GPS relationship at the federal level.
Earlier, Ali had a meeting with his grassroot supporters and election machinery team to explain his decision to withdraw.
Also present were Bersatu's leaders Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, who flew in to help explain to Ali's supporters why his withdrawal was the best decision.
Ali said his supporters, although saddened, mostly understand the decision.
"Now, their task is to go down to the ground and explain to my supporters at the longhouses.
"I will also be visiting my supporters to tell them not to cast a vote for me, even though my name will still appear on the ballot paper.
"I will tell them to vote for GPS," said Ali.
He added that he is confident that GPS can win the election if all his supporters backed the coalition.
Polling day for the Sarawak election is Dec 18.