By Chew Lip Song
BAWANG Assan will no longer see a clash of heavyweights in the upcoming state election as the Progressive Democractic Party plans to field a 35-year-old local boy to challenge six-term incumbent, Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh.
PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who initially expressed interests to stand there today named businessman Joshua Ting Fu Ying as the party’s candidate for the seat.
“Thanks to Wong Soon Koh as he welcomed me to contest (here) in Bawang Assan. So, we are sending this candidate who is fresh, dynamic and full of new ideas,” said Tiong in a Dayak Daily report.
He reiterated that PDP preferred young and charismatic leaders to serve the people rather than the elderly who refused to let go.
“We need to let young leader to have opportunity to serve the community and the rakyat not like all these old men holding power and never want to let go,” said Tiong.
On the chances of winning the seat, Tiong said, “Basically, the most important thing is he’s willing to serve the people so we let the people decide.”
Sibu-born Tiong and Wong were allies in the then Sarawak BN, with the former having received his party’s backing to stand in a state seat. Tiong is also the Bintulu MP.
In the last state election in 2016, Wong retained his seat and doubled his majority, from 1,808 votes to 4,131 votes due to a big swing in Chinese votes. He stood as a direct BN candidate then.
He garnered 9,015 votes against 4,884 votes for Stanley Chiew of the DAP, 100 votes for Wong Sing Wei (STAR), 569 votes Watson Bangau (Independent) and Yeu Bang Keng (Independent).
The former Second Finance Minister resigned from the state cabinet last year and announced that his party is no longer Gabungan Parti Sarawak-friendly. He is now president of Parti Sarawak Bersatu.