Following state PKR’s decision not to contest in Tanjong Datu, state DAP is now considering whether it should take up the challenge.
State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen told The Borneo Post that the party leaders will meet and discuss whether the party will field a candidate for the by-election.
“Tanjong Datu is all along PKR’s seat. Since they gave up contesting, we respect their decision. We will discuss among the state committee to field a candidate or just leave it as it is,” said Chong.
He believed the reason for PKR to pull out was to show respect to the late Tanjong Datu assemblyman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who was also the chief minister.
“I beg to differ that the idea to contest in the seat is showing disrespect. After all, this is democracy,” said Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman and Kuching MP.
He said letting state BN win uncontested would not help to bring development to Tanjong Datu constituency.
“The people of Tanjong Datu have already lost a chief minister and they will lose even the election goodies promised to them if state BN were to win uncontested.
“I will have a word with Baru (Bian, state PKR chief and Ba Kelalan assemblyman) before DAP makes any decision,” said Chong.
In the May 7 state election, PKR fielded Jazolkipli Numan to face the late Adenan at Tanjong Datu. Adenan’s overwhelming popularity had Jazolkipli garnering only 468 votes against his 6,360 votes.
It is generally believed that due to Adenan’s popularity, state BN will have a landslide victory in the upcoming Tanjong Datu by-election on Feb 18, if DAP should take up the challenge where the outcome is easily predicted.
Another possibility is that if DAP were to give up like PKR, then state BN will enjoy a walkover. Should that happen, the by-election will end on the nomination day which is Feb 4 where the BN candidate will be declared winner on the same day.
Meanwhile, the Chinese business community in Lundu dismissed the possibility that they would pool resources together to come up with an independent candidate just for the sake of having a full-fledged by-election to boost local businesses for the two-week campaigning period.
Lundu District councillor Chen Chung Yee said the local Chinese business community would not do that as “it is not their way of doing things”.
“(The late) Chief Minister had brought much development here. We salute him for what he has done for us. We will support any member of his family with or without opponent in this by-election.
“And we will not try to put up a candidate so that the by-election can continue and we will have good business during the campaigning time of two weeks.
“The Chinese only make up 10 per cent of the total population in the area (Tanjong Datu) but most of the Chinese here are pro-BN,” said Chen who has a business in Lundu town.
According to April 2016 statistics, out of the 9,899 registered voters, 53.2 per cent are Malays and Chinese voters constitute 17.6 per cent, Iban 18.9 per cent, Bidayuh 9.8 per cent and others 2.3 per cent.
Former Penghulu Kho Jit Boo when contacted also stressed that the Chinese business community in Lundu would not do anything that might be regarded as disrespect to the late chief minister.
“The late chief minister had been very kind to us. He treated all the various ethnic communities here the same. For the Chinese community, he had helped to contribute about RM2 million to SJK Chung Hua Lundu.
“Then he helped different guilds and NGOs, including the temple associations in various ways. His peaceful and ‘middle way’ approach had won our respect. We would not want to do anything to dishonour him.” said Kho.
Source : Lian Cheng @ Borneo Post Online