KUCHING, May 19 — The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) insisted today that it would contest the Pujut by-election.
SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also the state local government and housing minister, said the seat has been traditionally contested by the party in the past, except in last year’s state election.
“We have a list of potential candidates who can be picked to contest in the by-election,” he said, adding these potential candidates are being groomed for the coming general elections.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg said the state Barisan Nasional (BN) will meet to decide on its candidate, but the date of the meeting has not been fixed yet as it is too early to decide on the candidate.
“The date of the by-election is still a long way to go, so just wait for the meeting to decide on the date,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the by-election caused by the disqualification of DAP’s Dr Ting Tiong Choon by the state assembly for allegedly having acquired an Australian citizenship.
The Election Commission (EC), which met today, has fixed June 20 as nomination day and July 4 for polling.
In last year’s state elections, Dr Ting won the Pujut state seat with a majority of 1,759 votes in the state election on May 7, 2016 in a four-cornered fight against direct BN candidate businessman Datuk Hii King Chiong, PAS and an independent candidate.
Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said the party will meet soon to decide on the candidate for the by-election.
Chong, who is also the Kota Sentosa assemblyman, urged Pujut voters to hand BN a heavy blow so as to teach it a lesson for disqualifying Dr Ting as their elected representative.
He suggested that the by-election is a prelude to the coming general election which will determine the fate of the country.
“A big victory for Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat in Pujut will definitely be a great momentum for PH to form the next federal government,” he said.