Saturday March 2, 2013
SWP confirms Lagong’s candidacy for Hulu Rajang
KUCHING: The Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) has announced that its vice-president George Lagong, who is also Pelagus assemblyman, will contest in Hulu Rejang in the general election, confirming months of speculation about his candidacy.
His candidacy was announced by SWP president Larry Sng at about 10am yesterday on the latter’s Facebook page.
The polls will be Lagong’s second attempt at Hulu Rajang.
In 2008, he stood as an independent candidate and was defeated by Datuk Billy Abit Joo, a PRS vice-president.
Abit polled 6,580 votes to defeat Lagong by a 2,164-vote majority, giving the latter his fifth term as Hulu Rajang MP.
Masing, when asked for his reaction to Lagong’s candidacy, said: “When George Lagong stood in Hulu Rajang in 2008, he was an unknown figure. Now he is a known personality and YB for Pelagus.
“Let the voters be the judge of his performance as YB for Pelagus. Whether he does well or not, I’m sure the people of Pelagus will transmit the information to voters of Hulu Rajang. Let the voters decide, after all this is a free country. Anyone can contest.”
It is still unclear who will be picked from PRS to contest in Hulu Rajang on the Barisan ticket.
While the party leadership has decided to retire Abit and chosen Masing’s private secretary Wilson Ugak Kumbong to contest there for the first time, Abit has maintained that he is still the winnable candidate.
With Lagong now in the fray, it is very likely that there will be a three-cornered fight for Hulu Rajang — the largest parliamentary constituency in the country.
It has been rumoured that PKR will be nominating lawyer Abun Sui, a Kenyah, for the seat.
SWP recently caused quite a stir when, according to party sources, it was planning to contest in Stampin and Bandar Kuching too.
Soon after the party was set up, Sng had declared that it would contest only in PRS seats to rid the state of the party but it now appears to be marching to a different beat.
In any case, Lagong is the second SWP candidate to be officially named.
In January, Sng announced that Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat, a former SPDP supreme council member, would contest in Julau.
The seat is currently represented by PRS vice-president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, who is the Information, Communications, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister.
Sng, who was sacked from PRS for insubordination before setting up SWP, is rumoured to be eyeing Lubok Antu in the polls.
The party is expected to name all its candidates next week. Lubok Antu is currently held by PRS first-time MP Masir Kujat.