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DAP versus PKR - 'let people be the judge'

S'WAK POLLS The rakyat will be the judge of which party is responsible for the eventual clash between DAP and PKR in six seats after nominations for the Sarawak polls closed yesterday, said a DAP lawmaker.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said this in revealing the chronology of discussions between the two parties, from Feb 19 up until the last Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting on April 11.

"We regret the action of Sarawak PKR that did not respect the decision reached by leadership of the two parties, which was actually a 'win-win' decision.

"The reason for me to explain all these facts and chronology of the discussion process is so that the people, especially Pakatan Harapan supporters, understand what actually happened and can judge which party should be held responsible for the situation today," Loke told a press conference at DAP’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

PKR and DAP are facing multi-cornered fights against BN and others in Batu Kitang, as well as five rural Dayak-majority seats – Mulu, Murum, Simanggang, Ngemah and Mambong.

Among others, Loke confirmed that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in his April 7 discussion with PKR deputy president Azmin Ali had agreed in principle to surrender eight state seats – including the five contentious ones – to PKR.

On April 11, the Pakatan Harapan presidential council met and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail later announced that the allies had arrived at a consensus on seat negotiation.

The decision, however, did not go down well with Sarawak PKR, which vetoed the national decision.

During their first meeting on Feb 19, DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said the two parties had agreed to commission a survey to gauge their chances in the six seats – Batu Kitang, Senadin, Simanggang, Tasik Biru, Mambong and Bukit Semua.

"The request to commission a survey first came from PKR. We (DAP) were not very keen because it is not cheap.

"I was very firm during the meeting and I asked, 'Are you sure you want to do a survey because it is not cheap?'" said Pua.

He also said that Sarawak PKR representative present during the meeting had guaranteed that they would respect the findings of the survey.

As of now, Pua said the DAP wants to move on and focus on helping all its candidates, leading up to polling day on May 7.

DAP strategy director Ong Kian Ming later revealed that the survey, involving some 300 respondents in each seat, was largely in favour of the party.

The DAP was seen as the more favourable party in five seats, and tied with PKR in Mambong.

In Batu Kitang, 60 percent of respondents had said they favoured DAP, compared to only eight percent for PKR.

The remaining 33 percent of respondents said they were unsure or refused to state their choice.

In Mambong, both DAP and PKR tied with 36 percent of respondents, while the remaining 25 percent were unsure and three percent refusing to state their choice.

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