BN will go all out to cap­ture Pu­jut seat, says Abang Jo­hari

New Straits Times - - News - Pu­tra­jaya,

PE­TRA JAYA: Barisan Na­sional will pull out all the stops to wrest the Pu­jut state seat from the op­po­si­tion in the up­com­ing by-elec­tion there, said Chief Min­is­ter and Sarawak BN chair­man Datuk Amar Abang Jo­hari Abang Openg.

He also said the rul­ing coalition would start pre­par­ing its elec­tion ma­chin­ery fol­low­ing the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Pu­jut as­sem­bly­man Dr Ting Tiong Choon last week.

“We will con­test the by-elec­tion in high spir­its to take back the state seat from the op­po­si­tion,” Abang Jo­hari said at his of­fice in the Sarawak State Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly Com­plex here yes­ter­day.

This came after the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) fixed nom­i­na­tion day for June 20 and polling day for July 4.

Abang Jo­hari, how­ever, said BN’s can­di­date would only be de­cided after the Gawai Dayak cel­e­bra­tion on June 1.

UPP chair­man Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, mean­while, said the party had sub­mit­ted its list of po­ten­tial can­di­dates to Abang Jo­hari.

SUPP pres­i­dent Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, how­ever, said his party stood a bet­ter chance of win­ning in Pu­jut com­pared with other par­ties.

State DAP chair­man Chong Chieng Jen said his party would con­tinue with le­gal ac­tion to chal­lenge Dr Ting’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion as Pu­jut as­sem­bly­man.

Dr Ting was sacked after the state as­sem­bly passed a mo­tion to dis­qual­ify him for ac­quir­ing an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship, reg­is­ter­ing as an Aus­tralian voter and pledg­ing al­le­giance to a for­eign coun­try out­side the fed­er­a­tion of Malaysia.

In EC chair­man Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Ab­dul­lah said DAP’s plan to take le­gal ac­tion would not stop the EC from hold­ing the by-elec­tion.

He also said the EC would heed the court’s de­ci­sion.

“We are just car­ry­ing out our duty. If the court de­cides that Dr Ting can re­tain the seat, then we will let him do so.

“We will ac­cept what­ever de­ci­sion is made by the court. But nor­mally, the process will take time, so we need to pro­ceed with the by-elec­tion first,” he said.

The com­mis­sion, Hashim added, had al­lo­cated RM838, 536 to hold the elec­tion. Five schools, he said, would be used as polling cen­tres.

There are 27,078 reg­is­tered vot­ers in the con­stituency. He said do­mes­tic vot­ers had un­til June 20 to ap­ply for a postal bal­lot, while over­seas vot­ers had un­til June 22 to do so.

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