SHAH ALAM, April 26 – PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali yesterday expressed regret that the party and ally DAP would have to slug it out in six constituencies in the Sarawak state election on May 7. He said DAP did not inform him about this and that he had only learned of it from news reports yesterday morning. Nomination for the election was on Monday.
“When I spoke to (Lim) Guan Eng (the DAP secretary-general) on the phone at 10 on Sunday night, he did not say that one of us should back out … he wanted to continue discussion, so this is unfortunate,” Azmin told reporters after launching the “Let’s Read Together for 10 Minutes” programme at the Tun Uda Library here.
Azmin, who is Selangor menteri besar, was asked to comment on the clash of PKR and DAP candidates in six seats in the Sarawak election. After nominations yesterday, it was seen that DAP and PKR had fielded candidates in Batu Kitang, Mulu, Murum, Mambong, Simanggong and Ngemah.
According to a written agreement on the distribution of seats between PKR and DAP, PKR was to have contested in Batu Kitang, Marudi, Machan, Layar and Belaga while DAP was to have fielded candidates in Senadin, Mulu, Tasik Biru, Simanggang, Mambong, Bukit Semuja, Ngemah and Murum.
However, PKR is seen as having gone against the agreement and fielded candidates in Mulu, Mambong, Ngemah, Simanggang and Murum. DAP retaliated by fielding a candidate against PKR in Batu Kitang. Azmin said he had delegated Sarawak PKR chairman Batu Bian to sign the letters of approval for PKR candidates, and that candidates were also fielded in the five constituencies that were in dispute with the DAP. He claimed that he made the decision based on the mandate given him by PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to resolve the dispute over seats.