I moved to Santubong at Premier’s behest: Nancy
By:News Desk
Date:
WhatsApp Image 2022-11-18 at 10.16.06 PM (1)

KUCHING: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) candidate for Santubong Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has refuted allegations that she had to move from Batang Sadong to Santubong in the 15th general election (GE15) because the people in her previous constituency were unhappy with her performance.

She told New Sarawak Tribune in an interview that the decision to move her to Santubong was made by Premier and GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who believed that it’s only logical that a “local candidate” should be fielded in the constituency.

“I believe he wants to make some changes this time around, like fielding a local candidate from the constituency. I am originally from Kampung Panglima Seman Lama, Santubong, and I am still a voter from this village.

“So, I welcome this kind of arrangement, shifting to your place of origin,” she said last night (Nov 17).

Nancy said she always believed that a local should be nominated to stand in a constituency instead of bringing someone from outside to contest.

On claims by certain quarters that she couldn’t get along with some people, including the state assemblymen in Batang Sadong, Nancy said the allegations were mere opposition tactics to disparage her.

“What quarrel? I am okay with the ADUN (assemblymen) and my constituents. Some of my constituents were tearful when they learnt that I would no longer be their MP.

“Even when I was on my way to the nomination centre that morning they were asking me to change my mind … so, to insinuate I was running away (to Santubong) is hitting below the belt.

“There are people in Batang Sadong who will vouch for my hard work and good track record,” she added.

Nancy, a three-term Batang Sadong MP, said she was happy to be able to return to her home constituency and get the opportunity to serve her people.

“It’s a sort of homecoming for me.”

On her ability to win the seat by a bigger majority than the previous MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who decided to step down, Nancy said it was difficult to gauge because the constituency now had a big number of new voters.

Santubong now has 79,574 voters out of whom 53 percent are new voters who have never voted before. Many of these voters are in the 50-60 age bracket who are registered by automatic voter registration (AVR).

“Many of them are unaware that their names are in the electoral roll and when we helped them to check, they were taken by surprise,” said Nancy.

The electoral roll also comprised 7,000 Undi18 voters.

“So it’s quite risky to say if we could win by a huge majority. We are working hard to convince these new voters to vote for GPS,” she said.

In the last election in 2018, Wan Junaidi, the constituency’s four-term MP, won by a 19,485-vote majority.

Nancy said the GPS machinery was doing its part to get these new voters to come out to vote, and on top of that social media played an important role in their campaigns.

On her plans for Santubong, she said she would help transform the constituency – one of the seven tourism belts identified in Sarawak – into an international tourist attraction, and develop the state’s other tourist attraction spots.

Nancy, however, was quick to say she was not sure if she would return to her tourism portfolio in the new government.

“Nevertheless, whether I will still be the tourism minister or not, I have to be practical. I will still serve my constituency in whatever ministerial position.

“I will work with the state minister to develop Santubong,” she said.

On achieving a high voter turnout in Santubong, Nancy said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) election workers and the GPS machinery were working hard on the ground to encourage voters to come out and vote.

And her advice to voters is: “Please vote for GPS as it has a proven track record in the last five years. The state has achieved a lot and everyone has benefited. No one has been left out. GPS listens to everyone, young and old.”

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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