Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Swapping of seats could be an option if voters have lost faith in the respective parties.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said voters had indicated that they would not give their support if a party was still given the exclusive right to put forward only their candidates.

“In politics…the ones to determine who should be the representative are the people or the voters.

“Even if any party stakes a claim on any seat as their ‘traditional’ seat to contest in, that does not guarantee voters will vote for them,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Monday (July 7).

Abdul Karim, who is also the Asajaya assemblyman, was asked to comment on Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s views that banking on ‘traditional seats’ alone would spell trouble for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the state election.

Tiong suggested that ‘seat-swapping’ could be done among GPS components to ensure the coalition would nominate only the best among the list of potential candidates for the seat.

Meanwhile, PBB Youth chief Gerald Rentap Jabu said he agreed with Tiong and most importantly, the GPS candidate must be winnable.

“I am sure our leaders and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg factor in all angles. We leave it to their wisdom,” he said.

When asked whether he would forego his seat to other component parties should seat-swapping was needed, he said if that was the decision from the leadership, he would oblige.

“Let the party and grassroots determine the candidate. What is more important is that we give our best service to the people,” said the Layar assemblyman.