PBDS to contest four parliamentary seats in GE15

PBDS to contest four parliamentary seats in GE15

Party offers political rookies in Dayak-majority seats

KUCHING – Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) will be contesting four parliamentary seats in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15). In the previous parliamentary election (GE14) in 2018, the party only offered one candidate, the late party president Cobbold John Lusoi in Sri Aman – who lost to then BN-PRS candidate Datuk Masir Kujat, and PH-PKR candidate Norina Umoi in the three-cornered fight.

PBDS president Bobby William told The Vibes the party will be contesting in the Dayak-majority constituencies of Sibuti, Baram, Julau, and Kapit in GE15. Businesswoman Susan George will contest in Julau, while former school head and hometown boy Sawing Kedit will stand in Baram.

A businessman, Robert Saweng (not related to Sawing Kedit), will contest in Kapit, whereas Bobby himself will contest in Sibuti. “Apart from me, all the other candidates are first-time candidates in the election. And for me, it will be my first time contesting in a parliamentary seat,” said Bobby.

He said Sawing is a party vice-president, Susan is PBDS Wanita chief, and Robert is the party’s Youth chief. According to Bobby, Sibuti with 16 polling districts has 24% Malay voters, 22% Chinese voters, and 54% Dayaks, largely consisting of Iban and Orang Ulu.

The Kapit voter population is 99% Dayak, while Baram with 35,000 registered voters is 96.4% Dayak, and Julau hosts 98% Dayak voters. In Julau, Susan will be up against incumbent Larry Sng Wei Shien, who stood as an independent in GE14 and has since joined Parti Bangsa Malaysia.

Susan will also be up against Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum who has recently expressed his intention to contest the Julau seat. In Kapit, Robert will face incumbent Alexander Nanta Linggi, the caretaker federal domestic trade and consumer affairs minister.

In GE14, Nanta beat DAP’s Paren Nyawi in a straight fight. He garnered 14,302 votes to DAP’s 3,823. In Baram, Sawing will face off against incumbent Anyi Ngau (GPS), who received 12,171 votes against Roland Engan (PH) in GE14. Engan is expected to pit his candidacy again in Baram for GE15.

In Sibuti, Bobby will face incumbent Lukanisman Awang Sauni (GPS). Islamist party PAS has also expressed its intention to pit a candidate while PKR is also speculated to contest the seat.
In GE14, Lukanisman won with 12,214 votes against PH-PKR’s Jemat Panjang (8,538 votes) and PAS candidate Zulaihi Bakar, who only managed 1,617 votes.

Earlier this month, PBDS, Parti Bumi Kenyalang and Parti Sarawak Baru inked a memorandum of understanding not to pit candidates against one another. “This includes the hot seats of Lubok Antu and Sri Aman,” added Bobby.

He said this strategy was implemented to fight as one strong and united team against peninsula-based parties and candidates from Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

– The Vibes, October 18, 2022

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