PKR to exploit on ‘cold war’ between SPDP and Teras

MIRI: State PKR is offering itself as the best party to represent the people, particularly in Baram parliamentary constituency, which is currently witnessing a ‘cold war’ between Barisan Nasional (BN) component party SPDP and newly formed BN-friendly Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras).

The constituency, which has Mulu as the new state constituency in addition to the existing Telang Usan and Marudi, is facing uncertainty over the fate of the proposed Baram Dam, which has been halted indefinitely by the state government following widespread rejection by the locals.

PKR Baram secretary Dennis Along admitted that PKR was working quietly on strategies on how to win all three constituencies in the next state election.

“In Marudi, the best ‘bait’ would be those who are not satisfied with both Teras and SPDP. From our groundwork, many voters especially the youngsters are fed up with both parties and have begun to support PKR,” Dennis told reporters on Thursday.

In Telang Usan, he said PKR would focus on Baram Dam, adding: “Even the announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem that the dam project be halted indefinitely is no guarantee that it would be cancelled. The ‘rakyat’ (people) in Baram are not stupid — we will join them in their struggle because the government could start the project any time after the state election.”

As for Mulu constituency, Dennis said PKR would continue to champion land issues especially the existing court case on the Native Customary Rights (NCR) at Gunung Mulu National Park, which had not been settled.

“The government actively developed the park, but sadly and unexpectedly the locals didn’t benefit much from the project — one of the biggest tourism products in Sarawak.

“The only glaring benefits are job opportunities but those are only limited to tourist guides and security guards, while the important posts are taken up by non-Sarawakians, mostly (of them are) foreigners,” he said.

Another ‘hot issue’ in Baram was the appointment of community leaders, whom Dennis said were mostly not favoured by the locals.

On PKR candidates, he said three among six shortlisted had been made known to the people and the list would be forwarded to PKR Supreme Council headed by state chief, BaKelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, but the final selection would be made by PKR Central.

The three are PKR Baram chief Roland Engan who will contest in Marudi, Paul Baya (Telang Usan) and Elia Bit (Mulu).-Borneo Post

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