MIRI, Nov 28 — Defending Pujut, reclaiming Piasau and making a breakthrough in Senadin are the daunting tasks facing Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the coming polls.
According to Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak secretary Alan Ling, who is DAP’s pick for Pujut in the coming 12th state election, he and his fellow DAP Miri candidates, Peter Hee for Piasau, and Marcus Hugo for Senadin, would have to fight hard against the contenders from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and other local Opposition parties.
Ling, who is heading the DAP branch here, said due to tightened standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the Election Commission (EC), it would be an uphill battle for the party to disseminate its political messages like how they used to do in past election periods.
“No ceramah (public talks), no physical interaction with the voters — all these restrictions would hamper our reaching-out programmes.
“We can only rely on our social media channels to disseminate information, and its effectiveness can be less as we do not have sufficient budget for online campaigning, which requires one to pay for advertising it,” said Ling, who is also DAP Sarawak secretary, when asked by The Borneo Post here Friday.
With limited funding and resources, coupled with possible low voter turnout in view of the current Covid-19 situation, he reiterated DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s fear of the possibility of the ‘opposition being wiped out from Sarawak Assembly’.
Ling appeal to the voters in Miri to turn up and cast their ballots so that the election would reflect true democracy.
“Not a single seat is safe as long as there is an election, where the people are the ultimate decider. “For DAP, this time around we are facing an even tougher battle, but we hold strong faith in the wisdom of our voters.
“The voters want to see a more balanced political landscape in Sarawak, the people stand to benefit most when there is competition in between the ruling party and the opposition,” he pointed out.
Ling is expected to face a multi-cornered fight in Pujut, where Miri Mayor Adam Yii from Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is touted as a strong contender.
The seat has been vacant following the disqualification of Dr Ting Tiong Choon as assemblyman, in a Federal Court ruling on Feb 11 last year.
Dr Ting won the seat on DAP ticket in the 2016 election, with a majority of 1,759 votes.
“Throughout my political journey, I believe the people in Miri have seen me working persistently for them, despite my loss in 2016 (when contesting in Piasau).
“I am still staying put and always around to serve the people of Miri. My non-absence from the political scene is the best testimony of my principled struggle in politics,” he said.
Ling, a 38-year-old practising lawyer, is perceived by many to be an ‘acceptable gentleman politician, who speaks out for the suppressed without fear or favour, but is equally a diplomatic person’.
When Pakatan Harapan was in power, he was made a senator and also a member of the board of directors of Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).
“It is a high honour to stand in election for the third time for DAP and I will do my utmost best to carry the DAP flag whatever the circumstances may be,” said Ling, who received his ‘watikah’ (letter of appointment) at DAP Sarawak headquarters in Kuching Friday. — Borneo Post