Salang expected to knock out Larry Sng in Julau comeback

Joseph Salang Gandum was MP for Julau for four terms but lost to Larry Sng in 2018.

PETALING JAYA: Larry Sng’s constant switching of political parties may cost him the Julau parliamentary seat in Sarawak at the coming general election, say two political analysts.

Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s Dick Lembang Dugun both said Sng’s habitual changing of parties meant political sentiment on the ground in Julau has now shifted to Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Joseph Salang Gandum.

Salang was a four-term Julau MP from 1999, while Sng, president of Parti Bangsa Malaysia, won in 2018 after beating Salang with a majority of 1,931 votes.

“Sng’s chances are lower (now),” said Jeniri. “Salang has clout and strong influence in Jalau, and he has been moving aggressively on the ground since 2018.

Salang’s party is a member of the ruling GPS coalition, which Jeniri said has strong leadership and effective grassroots machinery. “Judging by the last state elections (in December), I think the political sentiment on the ground has shifted towards Salang,” said Jeniri.

The Borneo Post reported last week that Salang was ready to reclaim the Julau seat if given the chance to do so. However, Salang was quoted as saying that the decision depended on Gabungan Parti Sarawak chairman Abang Johari Openg.

Other members of GPS are Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party and Progressive Democratic Party.

Dugun said Salang’s chances had improved as GPS made a strong showing in the state polls, grabbing 75 out of the 82 seats contested.

“As for Sng, he is known as a frog. I think it’s not right for him to contest in any seat because he always changes parties. Where are his principles and integrity?” he added.

“Maybe Sng can say PBM supports GPS. In Sarawak, there is a possibility this can happen.”

PBM applied to join Barisan Nasional in July. Earlier this week, Sng said PBM would be contesting the general election with its own logo as BN did not accept the party.

Sng started his political career with the Sarawak Native People’s Party (PBDS) in 2001. He joined PRS in 2004 after PBDS was deregistered. In 2013 he founded the Sarawak Workers Party but quit three years later, and contested the 2018 general election as an independent.

He joined PKR after Pakatan Harapan won power but he left the party in February 2021 to support Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional government, and in August threw his support behind Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister. In November Sng and Tebrau MP Steven Choong announced the formation of PBM, a rebranding of SWP.

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