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Sarawak Polls: DAP-PKR Deadlocked In Seat Dispute

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KUCHING: DAP and PKR seemed to have reached a dead end in finding middle ground to solve the ongoing seat allocation dispute.

Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said they will contest the Batu Kitang seat despite a proposal to withdraw its candidate if PKR agrees to withdraw their candidates in five other conflicting seats.

He stressed that it was better for them to “leave PKR alone” and focus on fighting against Barisan Nasional.

“Our battle here is against BN. As far as we are concerned, the battle is against them, let’s leave PKR alone.

“They can say whatever they want, let’s just ignore them as we are close to defeating BN,” he told reporters here Wednesday.

He said if it was not for PKR contesting Batu Kitang, DAP would still have the upper hand against their common contender.

Chong said this was based on the survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre which found that DAP had a winning chance of 55% compared to Barisan’s 45%.

“But because of PKR, I’d estimate that this has reduced our chances to 45%,” he said, adding that DAP would go “full swing” in the remaining nine days of campaigning to push for more support.

“I believe we can turn it around. Whatever said by PKR, let’s just ignore. Let’s put PKR aside,” he said.

Chong also denied allegations that the party fielded a Malay candidate, Abdul Aziz Isa in Batu Kitang, as an attempt to ‘test the water’ in a predominantly Chinese area.

“I think Batu Kitang stands the best chance. We want to see an Opposition front where you have Chinese, Iban, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh or Malay,” he said.

Earlier, DAP launched its 10-point manifesto namely “Wealth Sharing for All Sarawakians” which included free public bus service, autonomy in taxation and transparency in governance.

Chong however dodged questions when asked why the party did not make a joint manifesto with its partners in Pakatan Harapan.

“There are a lot of other reasons. These are our party policies…to show what the party stands for,” he said, further insisting to “ignore everything about PKR”.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke had on Tuesday said the only way a middle ground could be achieved at this point was if PKR agreed to withdraw its candidates despite their names being on the ballot papers.

The conflicting seats are Batu Kitang, Mulu, Murung, Mambong, Simanggang and Ngemah.

But PKR also refused to back down from the disputed seats.

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