SO PKR and DAP had their first meeting yesterday on seat allocations for the parliamentary election.
And surprise, surprise they could not agree on several seats.
Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng is quoted as saying while they have agreed on some seats, they were “unable to reach any agreement on some others”.
Apparently both parties have their sights set on between 12 and 15 seats each. There are 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak.
As we all know by now, DAP wants the urban seats. But PKR has also been eyeing Stampin.
PKR state vice-chief See Chee How has pointed out, in the past, that PKR in Batu Lintang had the highest majority amongst the state seats under the Stampin parliamentary seat.
See managed a 8,381-vote majority.
The other two seats are Batu Kawah and Kota Sentosa, which DAP won. Christina Chiew won by just 543 votes in Batu Kawah while Chong Chieng Jen won by a 4,824-vote majority.
Anyway, DAP has indicated its desire to contest in the Dayak-majority seats of Mas Gading, Mambong, Serian and Sri Aman.
By the way, PKR’s Sri Aman division chairman Jimmy Donald, Serian division chief Jonas Reong and senior Serian division leader Matthew American just resigned from the party, along with Kapit division head Munan Laja and failed candidate in Meluan Dr John Brian Anthony.
PAS wasn’t even at this PR meeting. But apparently neither DAP nor PKR are interested in the Muslim-majority seats that PAS wants to contest in.
So where does that leave PR Sarawak? Well they say they will somehow agree on the seats by Oct 2, when they have their next meeting.
It is more than likely that DAP will flex its “we-have-more-state-seats-than-you-do” and “we-are-the-opposition-top-dogs” cards during the negotiations.
So PKR will just have to cower and agree to what the DAP demands and then they will both say that they agree with the results, while PKR’s grassroots are left wondering what is left for them …
The story from The Sun:
S’wak PKR-DAP hold first meeting on seat allocations
KUCHING (Sept 18, 2011): Sarawak PKR and DAP held their first meeting on seat allocations today in anticipation of a snap general election.
However, they were unable to come to an agreement on a number of seats that both parties have claimed.
“We have reached conclusions on most seats, but we are unable to reach any agreement on some others,” Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng told reporters after co-chairing the meeting with Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian.
“We will conclude our seat negotiation in our next meeting on Oct 2,” he said.
Sarawak DAP and Sarawak PKR are eyeing between 12 to 15 seats each, out of 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak.
While a large chunk of the urban seats are expected to be contested by the DAP, most of the rural seats are expected to go to PKR.
PAS, another partner of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Sarawak, was not represented at today’s meeting as its top state leaders are in Terengganu on party matters.
Both Baru and Wong said they have “minimal overlapping claims on seats” with PAS.
“We don’t have problem with PAS,” Baru, who is also the state assemblyman for Ba’Kelalan, said.
PAS is expected to contest two or three Muslim/Malay areas.
Asked about overlapping claims by both the DAP and PKR, Wong said: “Each side has reasons to stake claims on those seats.
“One of criteria is which party has a better chance of winning the seats,” he said.
Wong and Baru declined to identify the seats both parties have claimed.
“We will let you (reporters) know once we have drawn the list after our Oct 2 meeting,” Wong insisted.
Wong and Baru also said each party has already identified their potential candidates for the coming general elections.
“We will reveal their names once we have concluded our seat negotiation,” Baru said.
He said it is PR priority to see that all the 31 parliamentary seats be contested by PR and the Barisan Nasional in straight fights.
At today’s meeting, the Sarawak DAP was represented by Wong, deputy chairman Chiew Chiu Sing, vice chairman Chong Siew Chiang, secretary, Chong Chieng Jen and treasurer Violet Yong, while PKR was represented by Baru, vice chairman See Chee How, secretary Stanny Embat, director of operations Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh, assistant director of operation George Chen, and committee member Peter Ato.