Abang Johari

KUCHING: There will be no seat swapping between MPs and state assemblymen in the upcoming election for Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) members, PBB president and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

He said MPs would continue to represent their constituents in the Parliament the same way assemblymen would represent theirs in the State Legislative Assembly.

“I am not sure about our fellow component parties, but at PBB, if you are an MP, we don’t let you to become an Adun (assemblymen) — this is the tradition,” he told New Sarawak Tribune in an exclusive interview today.

Abang Johari said he expected more new faces to be fielded in the state election as some of the incumbents had relayed their intentions not to contest in the upcoming state polls.

“I thank Kalaka assemblyman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz who stepped down as his intent to not seek re-election was announced publicly. I don’t know about the others but there will be some who will step down for the upcoming election,” he said.

The chief minister said seat swapping would depend on whether the situation warranted the solution.

“You cannot rule out seat swapping. If there is a need, why not? If Party A has the seat but Party B has the strength, we may swap seats,” he said.

Abang Johari added the bottom line was that the arrangement would only be made with agreement made on consensus of the political parties involved.

On changing the seats of incumbent assemblymen, the PBB president and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chief said it would depend on the requests from the ground.

“If there is a need, we will consider. You cannot be fixed (to one constituency),” he said.

Asked to comment on the criteria of candidates selected by GPS in the upcoming state election, Abang Johari said they must be close to the people and always on the ground.