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#PRNSarawak : 'Dirty tactics' being used in campaign, claims SUPP

Posted: 27 Apr 2016 02:43 AM PDT

Just three days into the official campaign period for the Sarawak state elections, the situation is already getting very tense, with accusations of impropriety being hurled.

The Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) said it has uncovered attempts by certain quarters to smear its image and cheat voters in the hot seat of Senadin in Miri City.

SUPP's candidate Datuk Lee Kim Shin (pic) claimed certain people were distributing RM200 each to voters and saying that the money was from SUPP.

He said these unscrupulous people were claiming to be Senadin SUPP agents, and were allowed to collect voters' MyKads to vote on their behalf.

Lee said he had alerted the police on the matter.

"These groups of unscrupulous people are asking voters to hand over their MyKads … and need not go to the polling stations on May 7.

"SUPP wants to make it very clear that this is a scam. We have not appointed any agents to collect MyKads from voters. It is illegal to collect and keep the MyKad of another.

"SUPP does not give money to solicit votes.

"Do not give your MyKad to anyone. No one can vote on your behalf. A voter must go personally to cast his or her vote," Lee warned voters.

"We hope the police will investigate this immediately," he said.

Lee is the incumbent Senadin assemblyman and has held the seat for four terms.

He is facing DAP candidate Dr Bob Baru and Independent Philemon John Edan.

Philemon is from the Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak Baru, which was formed by leaders from the de-registered Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak.

I’m leaving it to PM, says Terengganu MB

Posted: 27 Apr 2016 01:40 AM PDT

Mentri Besar Ahmad Razifhas left his future in the hands of the Prime Minister.

Ahmad Razif while leaving Wisma Darul Iman after the weekly executive councillors' meeting, which he chaired on Wednesday, declined to elaborate on his future as Terengganu Mentri Besar, only saying that he was leaving it up to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"I leave it to the PM to decide.

"No comments. I leave it to the PM," he said.

Ahmad Razif arrived at Wisma Darul Iman at 9.25am to chair the weekly meeting, greeting the press with a smile.

He was also seen greeting all nine exco members who attended, with the exception of state secretary Datuk Osman Muda, who could not attend the meeting due to personal reasons.

#PRNSarawak : Not easy for "tycoon candidates"

Posted: 26 Apr 2016 09:21 PM PDT

Infighting and sabotage among the Chinese Barisan Nasional candidates could cost them a potential deputy chief minister (DCM) post.

Sarawak political expert Dr Jeniri Amir (pic) said that a "kill or be killed" attitude between SUPP and UPP could deny Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem the Chinese seats that he has been eyeing.

"Things would be very rosy for Adenan if not for this. It is not going to be a walk in the park for him in the urban seats," said Dr Jeniri who is a lecturer in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

SUPP is a Barisan partner whereas UPP is a splinter party of SUPP. UPP is standing as independent candidates against SUPP and vice versa in a number of Chinese seats.

The leaders of these two parties used to be allies but are now out to destroy each other in the polls.

Dr Jeniri said that the DCM post may slip from the Chinese fingers again if SUPP does not deliver the Chinese seats.

Sarawak used to have two DCMs - one to represent the Dayak community and another to represent the Chinese.

The Chinese DCM post was not filled after the 2011 election after SUPP suffered a massive defeat.

"A two-thirds majority is in the bag for Adenan but there will be some big upsets on both sides," he said.

He said some of the big upsets could involve the "tycoon candidates" in the Sibu region as well as two urban seats in the Kuching city area.

These candidates are tycoons in their own right while some of them are backed by the "Big Six" as the top timber and business companies in Sarawak are known.

#PRNSarawak : Hot seats in the central region

Posted: 26 Apr 2016 08:16 PM PDT

There will be at least eight hotly-contested seats in Sarawak's central region.

SUPP and Barisan Nasional direct candidates will face off with DAP's in seats where voters predominantly vote for the Opposition.

Bukit Assek

There was initially much speculation whom DAP would field to defend the Bukit Assek seat, last won by the late Wong Ho Leng, but it all ended when his widow Irene Chang stepped up to the plate.

Chang is facing a tough fight with two other candidates, Chieng Buong Toon (SUPP) and Moh Hiong King (Star). In 2011, Chieng lost by a large majority of 8,827 votes to Wong.

DAP might retain this seat due to sympathy votes.

Bukit Assek has 28,341 voters.

Bawang Assan

This is another Sibu hot seat with the Opposition trying to unseat incumbent Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh. Wong has been renominated to defend his seat as a Barisan direct candidate.

The question is if he will get the support of SUPP, whose potential candidate Robert Lau Hui Yew was not chosen to contest?

The fight for the seat this time is a crowded affair with five candidates in the contest, namely Wong himself, 40-year-old businessman Wong Sing Wei (Star); Stanley Chiew, a new candidate from DAP; and independent candidates Watson Bangau, the former Bawang Assan PBB branch chairman and Yeu Bang Kor from the Sarawak for Sarawakians movement.

Bawang Assan has a total of 18,340 voters and is a predominantly Chinese area with the community making up 55.1% of the voters, followed by Ibans (38.8%) and Malays/Melanau (5.3%).

Dudong

Incumbent Yap Hoi Liong of DAP defeated former SUPP member Datuk Tiong Thai King by only 317 votes in the last election. Tiong's loss then was expected due to internal SUPP squabbles on its choice of candidate.

Tiong resigned as Dudong UPP branch chairman to contest as a Barisan direct candidate.

The fight for the seat in this Chinese-majority area is between five candidates, with the other three being independent candidates Datuk Seri Benny Lee, the former Dudong SUPP branch vice-chairman; Mary Ting (Star) and Casper Kayong.

Dudong has 29,028 voters.

Pelawan

Incumbent David Wong (DAP) is defending the seat he won in the last election by defeating Vincent Goh Chung Siong of SUPP by a majority of 6,391 votes.

The seat, once a Barisan stronghold, will see a three-cornered fight between Wong, Barisan direct candidate Kapitan Datuk Janet Lau and prominent lawyer Priscilla Lau from Star.

Lau is the wife of the late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, the former deputy works minister.

This constituency has 32,233 voters, making it the largest of the 82 seats in the state.

Repok

Three new faces are contesting the hot seat of Repok – Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii (SUPP), Yong Siew Wei (DAP) and former Sarikei DAP secretary Wong Ching King.

The incumbent, DAP's Dr Wong Hua Seh, is not contesting due to poor health. The seat was a Barisan stronghold until eight-term assemblyman David Teng Lung Chi of SUPP, who lost in the last election to Dr Wong by 2,679 votes.

There are 20,263 voters in Repok.

Meradong

This is one of the smallest urban constituencies with only 16,882 voters. In the 2006 election, SUPP lost the seat to DAP's Ting Tze Fui due to infighting over its candidate, which eventually led to the formation of the breakaway party UPP.

This time around, it will be a straight fight between Ting and SUPP's Ding Kuong Hiing.

Similar to Repok, the Opposition could get to keep the seat for the third time unless UPP members decide to support Ding.

#PRNSarawak : Hot seats in the southern region

Posted: 26 Apr 2016 07:14 PM PDT

There are three seats of note in southern Sarawak this election.

A three-cornered fight Batu Kawah has been described as the hottest, while an interesting battle is brewing in Batu Kitang, with both PKR and DAP contesting in a five-way fight.

Batu Kawah


There may be no hotter seat in Kuching than Batu Kawah. The late entry of Liu Thian Leong, a Chinese education heavyweight, could possibly split the votes of Barisan Nasional supporters.

This is a three-way fight between DAP's incumbent Christina Chiew, Liu (who has declared himself a Barisan-friendly independent) and SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.

In 2011, Chiew, then 27, won this Chinese-majority urban seat with a slim majority of 543 votes.

Chiew, who keeps a low profile, is a diligent community worker and is also known for her strong command of Malay and is a pantun-writing (Malay poems) enthusiast.

SUPP's Dr Sim has built up quite a reputation as a humble people's leader. In the last state election, Dr Sim contested in Pending and lost to DAP's Violet Yong.

As such, the cardiologist-turned-politician knows the stakes are high for him. He is at the helm of a party that has seen better days.

Dr Sim will face stiff competition from Liu, who resigned from UPP (the breakaway party of SUPP) to contest. The duo were both vying for the Chief Minister's endorsement to be the Barisan candidate. Dr Sim may have won the Barisan nomination, but Liu should not be counted out.

Batu Kawah has 16,991 voters.

Batu Kitang


The new seat of Batu Kitang, a semi-urban area, was mostly carved out of Batu Kawah and Kota Sentosa.

Barisan may not have it easy in Batu Kitang. Of the 11 new seats, this is only one with a Chinese majority at 54.8%. The second largest voting bloc here is Malay/Melanau at 20.1%.

Recent history has shown that new seats can fall to the Opposition. In 2006, Barisan lost the then-newly-created seat of Kota Sentosa to DAP. In 2011, DAP retained Kota Sentosa with an even bigger majority.

As such, Barisan's SUPP candidate Lo Khere Chiang may not have a walk in the park in Batu Kitang. Among factors that could become Opposition strong points are recent spells of heavy flooding in Batu Kitang.

It is also worth noting that this new seat is carved out of two existing seats held by the Opposition.

One of Lo's opponents is PKR's Voon Shiak Ni, the Wanita wing's national vice-president. A teacher-turned-lawyer-turned-politician, she is soft-spoken and friendly.

Interestingly, Lo and Voon have organised and participated in community events in the past. The battle between these two friends should prove to be an interesting contest.

However, the temperature in Batu Kitang has been raised with the last-minute entry of DAP's Abdul Aziz Isa, who was originally slated to stand in Stakan. This 11th-hour move is seen as a retaliation against PKR for fielding its candidates in five other overlapping seats.

There are 17,494 voters in Batu Kitang.

Kota Sentosa


A DAP stronghold if there ever was one. State DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen has won this seat twice, in 2006 and 2011, the second time with a larger majority.

Chong has also won the Bandar Kuching Parliamentary constituency three times, the last time with a majority of almost 20,000 votes.

SUPP is fielding its public complaints bureau head Wilfred Yap for this seat. Yap, a lawyer (like Chong), is extremely outspoken.

But he is also a Barisan loyalist. In the 2013 general election, Yap was considered as Barisan's Stampin candidate. When he was dropped in favour of the incumbent, Yap conceded the ticket gracefully.

Chong might have the upper hand here, but Yap is always keen for a fight.

Voters here will enjoy the candidates' verbal boxing matches. Urban issues, including national ones, will feature heavily. Here, bread-and-butter issues will take a backseat to national issues like corruption and the high cost of living. Middle-class voters here would also be aware of allegations of gerrymandering and the sort.

Kota Sentosa has over 25,761 voters.

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