Ting (left) and Tiong (second left) during the pair’s visit to Rh Ali Jampi longhouse in Bawang Assan.

KUCHING: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) may have just pulled a fast one on Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) surprising the latter with its choice of potential candidate for the constituency of Bawang Assan.

PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing who has expressed his interest in contesting for the seat may opt to field 35-year-old Joshua Ting Fu Ying to contest against incumbent Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, who is also PSB president, in the upcoming state election.

Ting, a businessman by profession and also a councillor with Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC), is a fresh face to the state’s politics.

The announcement for Ting’s name to be put forward was to the request of the longhouse chief at Rh Ali Jampi in Bawang Assan yesterday (July 18).

Tiong, who along with Ting visited the longhouse to meet with the dwellers, took notice of the request, adding that the request will be taken under advisement.

The seat has been attracting major interest, not only from PDP but also from other Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties.

Among the other parties to also claim a stake in the seat is Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) with current Dewan Negara Senator Robert Lau Hui, Yew who is SUPP Bawang Assan chief, being said as the party’s long-time candidate for the seat.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Bawang Assan also expressed interest in contesting for the seat, with PBB Iban voters lobbying for an Iban candidate from the party to be fielded for the seat back in December last year with PBB Bawang Assan chief Romeo Christopher Tegong being pushed for the candidacy.

Wong, a six-term assemblyman for Bawang Assan has held the seat since 1991, winning it under the Barisan Nasional (BN)-SUPP banner.

In the last state election, he contested as a BN-direct candidate, garnering a majority of 4,131 votes in a five-corner fight.

The 78-year-old was formerly a Cabinet Minister, holding the second finance minister position for 15 years, serving three chief ministers.

He resigned from the State Cabinet last year and announced that his party, PSB, will contest against GPS in the upcoming state election.