Loke: Wong Tack out, Young Syefura in for Bentong contest

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Incumbent Bentong MP Wong Tack has been dropped by DAP from defending his seat in the coming 15th General Election (GE15).

“We offered him (Wong) Cameron Highlands but he did not agree and refused to accept,” DAP secretary general-general Anthony Loke told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday (Oct 26).

He said the offer to Wong during a three-hour discussion on Sunday with the latter’s refusal made the following day.

“It was his personal choice and we can’t force him.

“We have to move on now as there are other matters which I have to address in such a limited time,” he said.

Wong has served as the DAP MP for Bentong for two terms.

He became a familiar face known for his opposition to Australian mining firm Lynas Corp’s rare-earths processing plant in Pahang which was used as a campaign platform during the 2018 general election.

Loke said that Young Syefura Othman, also known as Rara, would defend the Bentong seat for Pakatan Harapan in the coming polls.

“She served as the assemblywoman for the Ketari state seat which is within the Bentong parliament constituency and has built a presence.

“We have done our survey and analysis on winnable seats and she is the most winnable candidate for Bentong.

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“If elected, she will become DAP’s first Malay female MP and I put my trust in her, having served the area for five years. She also has a good track record among voters in the Ketari constituency,” Loke said.

MCA recently announced that former party president Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai would contest in Bentong, a seat he previously won in 1999 and successfully defended till 2018.

Liow defeated Wong in 2013 but lost to him in 2018.

Meanwhile, Loke also announced that Raub incumbent Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji would be standing for the Lipis parliamentary seat, which is seen as an Umno stronghold.

“DAP will contest an addition parliamentary seat this GE15. It was decided by the PH leadership council that DAP will be given this responsibility to win the Lipis seat.

“Lipis is an Umno stronghold, so we have decided to also field a strong candidate from DAP and that is Tengku Zulpuri.

“Tengku Zulpuri will also contest a state seat in Pahang. He is the only one who will contest two seats in Pahang. As for which seat, I will announce next week,” said Loke.

Tengku Zulpuri will likely face Umno’s Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad.

Abdul Rahman retained his seat in Lipis when he obtained a two-fold majority in the 14th general election, a better performance compared to the 13th general election (GE13).

He faced a three-cornered contest against PH’s Badarudin Abd Rahman and won with a majority of 6,569 votes.

In GE13, Abdul Rahman won by a 3,469-vote majority.

Loke also announced that Tanah Rata state assemblyman Chiong Yoke Kong would be contesting for the Cameron Highlands parliament seat.

“Chiong has in the past fought for many issues related to welfare of farmers in Cameron Highlands. He is the most suitable candidate for the parliamentary seat.

“He was ready to give way if Wong Tack had agreed to stand for the seat,” added Loke.

The Cameron Highlands seat is considered a Barisan Nasional stronghold and was currently held by incumbent Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor from Umno, the nation’s first orang asli to be elected as Member of Parliament in a by-election in 2019.

He said that Chow Yu Hui, the Tras state assemblyman, would be contesting for the Raub parliament seat.

Chow will face off against MCA secretary-general Chong Sin Woon.