Monday, February 25, 2008


Lack of agreement will hurt opposition chances
PKR and DAP contesting in same constituencies


The chances of the two leading opposition parties, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Democratic Action Party, in winning seats in the March 8 general election might be affected by their failure to strike a deal on the seats they are vying for. The two parties had failed to reach a compromise on fielding of candidates in various areas against Barisan Nasional, resulting in them contesting in same constituencies. According to PKR State deputy liaison chief Christina Liew Chin Jin, the DAP’s struggle is slightly different from theirs. “DAP wants representation of two- thirds in the Parliament while we in PKR are more interested in changing the whole government system,” she said. “This overlapping of opposition candidates is purely due to failure in reaching an amicable solution,” she added when met after submitting her nomination forms for the P172 Kota Kinabalu and N15 Api-Api seats at Dewan Maksak in Likas, yesterday. She will be contesting the state seat against DAP Kota Kinabalu branch chairman Dr Hiew King Cheu and BN-PBS newcomer Chin Teck Min and independent candidate Kong Yu Kiong. Asked about her chances of winning the Kota Kinabalu seat, Liew said both Hiew and her would do a gentlemen contest.” Parti Keadilan Rakyat believes the Penampang electorate wifi swing in their favour come polling day on March 8. State information chief Dr Edwin @ Jack Bosie, who will contest for the Penampang parliamentary seat, said the party has every reason to be here in reforming the Government. “We can see that our people in Parliament and the State are not doing much for our own people. If they were doing well, I don’t think Keadilan would be here,” he said when met at the nomination centre at the Tun Fuad Hall here, yesterday. When asked about his chances to win the Penampang seat, the 51-year- old trained veterinarian and conservationist said he is “very confident”. “My chances are very good. The wind has been blowing and it is very clear, we want a change. The basis of my struggle is to reform the system we want to have a good system that is fair and transparent,” he said. Keadilan’s candidate for Kepayan, Datuk Chau Chin Tang, said meanwhile that his chances are “as good as anybody’s chances”. “Being a Sabahan, we will have to save Sabah from the illegal immigrants and make sure that we control the oil, that’s about all, because this is the fight of every Sabahan, not just my fight. That is the reason I’m coming out of retirement after 10 years,” he said. Chau, who is the State Legal Committee chairman for Keadilan, reiterated Edwin’s confidence that the electorate will vote in their favour. “The sentiments are with us, its a big swing. Just because you have a big crowd (at nomination day) doesn’t guarantee a victory. It is the sentiments of the people and the current issues, this is what will determine whether they want you or don’t want you,” he said. The 65-year-old Kota Belud native noted that he will have the advantage of the Sembulan voters, particularly those in the low-cost housing area who he said he had assisted in the past. “I served as a YB for five years in Sembulan and part of Kepayan is Sembulan, especially mostly the low- cost houses who have been voters and still voters. “I have an advantage in that and done a lot for the people in the low- cost houses,” he said, although adding that victory in Kepayan is in the “hands of god”. Former independent candidate Moris @ Francis Miji on the other hand believes that his involvement with Keadilan in this election will only strengthen their challenge to bring change to the district. “The leadership took me in, in a sense, so I am now in Keadilan and I subscribe to their struggle. I think I have a good chance, looking at the votes I secured in 2004 as an independent,” he said. The 54-year-old tax manager and grandfather, who is contesting in Moyog, stressed the need for change in better addressing the needs of the people. “We need some changes in leadership, in the sense that we should not be fearful of addressing problems facing the community, be it economic or social. “It is not that the previous leadership have failed ... I feel we can do better. They have done their part to a certain extent. The rakyat need people who are willing to voice out their needs without fear,” he said.