Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sibu : First by election for DAP?

PKR will choose to stay away from the Sibu polls due to its weak showing the last time out.

By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — PKR is likely to cede to the DAP in the impending Sibu by-election, to ensure a straight fight with Barisan Nasional (BN).

“There will be no more three-cornered fight; that is the understanding, it is still too early for us to talk about the by-election, but nobody wants to upset the formula,” said PKR vice-president, Azmin Ali.

PKR lost badly in the seat during Election 2008, pulling in fewer votes than even BN’s 3,325 majority.

The party’s election director, Fuziah Salleh, said the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership council will make a decision on the matter.

“Pakatan leaders will decide and all parties will have to accept the decision,” said Fuziah without elaborating.

Both parties contested Sibu in the last general election, after seat allocation negotiations between Sarawak DAP and PKR collapsed due to the central leaderships’ failure to intervene.

The refusal of local leaders to work together resulted in PKR and DAP jostling each other while also facing BN in the federal constituencies of Stampin and Sibu.

Both were won by the ruling coalition.

Sibu will soon be declared vacant, after BN MP Datuk Robert Lau died yesterday, and will trigger the country’s 11th by-election since 2008.

Lau, from Sarawak BN party SUPP, beat state DAP chief Wong Ho Leng and PKR’s Lim Chin Chuang in a three-cornered fight to win his fifth term as Sibu MP.

The deputy transport minister won by a majority of 3,235 votes. He garnered 19,138 votes against Wong’s 15,903 and Lim’s 812.

The Malaysian Insider understands that PKR will choose to stay away from the Sibu polls due to its weak showing the last time out.

It also intends to build a stronger case to demand for more state seats, and to retain the seats it had contested previously, in the upcoming Sarawak state election, due no later than the middle of next year.

However, PKR and DAP are still unable to come to an agreement on the distribution of five seats where they are assured of victory.

The Malaysian Insider understands the disputed seats include Padungan, the only state constituency represented by PKR in the 71-member Sarawak assembly.

In 2006, PKR’s Dominique Ng defeated SUPP candidate Yong Lee Lee to win the Chinese constituency situated in the state capital.

State leaders from the two PR parties will head to the negotiation table for another round of talks on seat allocations next week.

Wong, when contacted, refused to say if the two parties will discuss the PR candidate for Sibu then.

“The body is still warm, let me pay my last respects first,” said Wong.


The Malaysian Insider

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