Monday May 29, 2017
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STAR president Lina Soo said that her party’s supreme council will meet to discuss the by-election after the Gawai Dayak celebration next month. — Picture by Choo Choy MaySTAR president Lina Soo said that her party’s supreme council will meet to discuss the by-election after the Gawai Dayak celebration next month. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUCHING, May 29 — Sarawak State Reform Party (STAR) is willing to field former DAP assemblyman Fong Pau Teck as its candidate for the July 4 Pujut by-election.

“I had asked him and he said he had not made a decision yet whether to accept the offer,” Sarawak STAR president Lina Soo told Malay Mail Online today.

She added that her party’s supreme council will meet to discuss the by-election after the Gawai Dayak celebration next month.

Fong was the DAP assemblyman for Pujut after defeating Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Any Chia Chu Fatt by a 3,849-vote majority  in the 2011 Sarawak election.

However, he was sacked by the DAP in November 2013 after being found to have gone against the party’s interests, including allegedly supporting an independent candidate for Miri in the May general election that same year and terminating a 10 per cent of his RM15,000 monthly salary to the party.

Fong became an independent assemblyman after that and sought to defend his seat in the 2016 state election but lost in a four-cornered fight that was won by DAP candidate Dr Ting Tiong Choon. Fong drew only 375 votes then.

The by-election is caused by the disqualification of the DAP’s incumbent Pujut assemblyman after the state assembly on May 12 approved a motion to strip him of the membership for the Pujut seat for allegedly acquiring an Australian citizenship.

Separately, another state Opposition party, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak said it will not contest in the by-election as Pujut is a Chinese-majority seat.

Its president Cobbold John Lusoi said the party will leave the BN challenge to the DAP.

“Being a Dayak party, we will only put up candidates in seats where the Dayaks form the majority of voters,” he explained.

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