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Rude awakening for DAP's rural dreams

IT'S EMPTY….:No one but the organisers and restaurant staff can be seen at the seminar venue.

IT WAS A RUDE awakening for the Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) dreams of penetrating rural areas in the state when not a single person turned up to attend its Dayak Consultative Council (DCC) seminar yesterday.

The DCC seminar was scheduled to be held in a local restaurant at Siburan (Mile 17, Kuching) at 1.30pm. By 2.30pm, no one from the target audience showed up and the organisers were forced to finally call it off.

The seminar, organised by DCC, aimed to prepare for DAP’s move from strictly urban Chinese-majority areas into Bumiputera and rural areas in the coming parliamentary election and to supposedly provide related consultative services to rural folk.

Among those from the party present at the venue were state DAP chief Wong Ho Leng, secretary Chong Chieng Jen, Serian branch chairman Edward Andrew Luak and DCC chairman Dr John Brian Anthony.

At a press conference held after the seminar was cancelled, Wong admitted that it would be a great challenge for DAP to penetrate Sarawak’s rural areas in the coming parliamentary election.

Siburan is located in the Bengoh state constituency, which is presently held by the Barisan Nasional (BN) under the Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) Dr Jerip Susil, who is Assistant Minister of Public Health.

Bengoh, along with Tarat, is under the Mambong parliamentary constituency, which is currently held by BN under Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, who is Deputy Minister of Tourism.

Besides Mambong, the DAP has also expressed interest in contesting in Mas Gading, currently held by BN through the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party’s (SPDP) Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe – National Service Training Council chairman, as well as Serian.

DAP has set up a centre in Serian to try to wrest the seat from BN’s Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

SUPP’s Datuk Richard Riot Jaem, who is Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, has held the seat for five terms since 1990.

All three parliamentary seats are Bidayuh majority areas. (BP)

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