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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DAP eyeing 10 seats in coming general election

KUCHING: The state DAP will contest in at least 10 parliamentary seats come the 13th general election.

Its secretary Chong Chieng Jen revealed that the party’s aim was to field candidates in between 10 and 12 constituencies, but the final outcome would be subject to negotiations with its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition partners PKR and PAS.

The Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament told reporters here yesterday that he expected the first round of negotiation to begin as early as next week as speculations were rife that the general polls could be held this coming November.

However, Chong was tight-lipped when asked which seats the party intended to contest in. He was only prepared to utter “it will be a mixture of Chinese, Malay and Dayak seats.”

He was also secretive when pressed how many Chinese-majority seats the DAP would be claiming.

“There are only six Chinese seats. DAP will take a mixture, and definitely more Dayak and Malay seats,” he said.

It should be noted that soon after the April 16 state polls, Chong had told a news conference that the state DAP (southern region) would propose to contest in Mambong, Mas Gading, Serian, Sri Aman and probably Petra Jaya.

The DAP negotiation squad would comprise state party chairman Wong Ho Leng, deputy chairman Chiew Chiu Sing, vice chairman Chong Siew Chiang, himself and treasurer Violet Yong.

The party contested in Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Lanang, Sibu, Sarikei, Bintulu and Miri during the 12th general election in 2008.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, revealed that the PR partners had held informal talks on seat allocations two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Wong has given an assurance that the party would be fielding women candidates, without stating a number.

“We will make sure that the rights of women will be respected,” quipped the Member of Parliament for Sibu.

Asked whether DAP had already identified the candidates for the 10 to 12 parliamentary seats it had in mind, Wong replied with a firm “Yes”.

He said he believed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would dissolve parliament in November this year following recent hints by the premier and his deputy.

“Najib has recently directed BN machinery to get ready and DPM (Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) also indicated a few times it would be soon,” noted Wong, who is also Bukit Assek assemblyman.

Wong said the political climate “is quite mature for the general election to be called soon” as he cautioned that any delay would not favour Barisan Nasional, particularly due to global economy impacts.

Both Chong and Wong declined to reveal whether they would be defending Bandar Kuching and Sibu respectively.August 15, 2011, Monday

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