SIBU: Speculations on the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Saratok parliamentary seat should cease and the focus channelled towards ensuring it remains with the party.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) supreme council member Chambai Lindong said on Friday that in the true spirit of BN, any differences should be put aside to prevent the opposition from exploiting issues to their advantage.
“Now is not the time to speculate. Our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been moving around to ensure everything is in place and this shows that the election is very near.
“What is of utmost importance is for all members and leaders from grassroots level upwards to work in a concerted manner, reinforced by strong support from other BN component parties to retain the BN’s stronghold this impending election,” Chambai toldthesundaypost.
He was responding to a news report which claimed members of BN component parties in Saratok wanted the ruling coalition to field more women candidates in the coming election.
It quoted Nasir Manap – Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Hossin Sulaiman and Lim Kieng Huat – SPDP, Roland Angking – Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) as well as Lau Pun Hui and Wee Lee Gua – Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) as saying they wanted a woman candidate to be fielded in Saratok.
They claimed this was in response to Najib and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s call for a big victory for BN this election.
“That statement purportedly came from certain people, comprising certain councillors and certain individuals, and that is about all. To say that certain people would like to see a woman candidate for BN in Saratok is a valid expression of choice of preference,” said Chambai.
“There is no distinction among genders and anyone can offer himself or herself or push for his or her preference in the media.”
However, he said the statement was rather vague and should have been backed up with details from the party divisions concerned.
“I believe this is an individual’s impression rather than party’s opinions. I am not saying that they are wrong as they expressed their view on their preference.
“But at the end of the day, what counts is that whoever is being picked by the top BN leadership, the candidate will be able to win for BN. It is best to leave everything to the PM’s wisdom.”
On speculation that he was among the several names said to replace incumbent member of parliament Jelaing Mersat, who is Deputy Transport Minister, Chambai laughed.
“In all honesty, I do not know how my name came about but I guess with speculation you will always have more than one name,” he replied.