Sarawak PKR has confirmed that it will be in talks with its ally DAP on the possibility of exchanging federal seats to contest in during the 14th general election.
Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian said he and state DAP counterpart Chong Chieng Jen spoke briefly on the seat swap last Sunday, adding that discussions will be held again in the middle of next month, The Borneo Post reported.
“As indicated openly by both parties before this, we agreed to begin with the status quo as per the 13th general election (GE13). Therefore, I do not expect any problem this time,” he was quoted saying.
Baru was responding to speculation that PKR would exchange its Stampin seat for DAP’s Miri seat, but did not confirm which seats would be involved.
The Ba Kelalan assemblyman was also reported saying Sarawak PKR was ready to discuss seat distributions for elections with Sarawak DAP and other allies in the federal opposition pact Pakatan Harapan.
Sarawak PKR won one out of 15 federal seats contested in the 13th general election, with its candidate Dr Michael Teo taking Miri with a 1,992-vote majority.
In comparison, Sarawak DAP won five out of the 10 parliamentary seats contested, including the Stampin seat clinched by its candidate Julian Tan with a 18,670-vote majority.
The Borneo Post said the PKR-DAP seat deals had in the past involved the exchange of winning seats, which it said would mean DAP would have to give up one of the urban seats it won — Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Sibu and Lanang — for the urban seat of Miri currently held by PKR.
The paper said Bandar Kuching MP Chong is unlikely to give up his seat or Sibu and Lanang, adding that the most likely deal would be an exchange of the Stampin and Miri seats between the two parties.
The 14th general election must be held by August 2018.
Source : @ The Malay Mail Online