KUCHING, Jan 17, 2016:
Sarawak is set to hold the state election with Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem hinting on a few occasions that it will be held in March this year.
However the delicate political issue, involving two Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and two new so called BN friendly parties — United People’s Party (UPP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) — remained unresolved.
Internal crisis within SUPP has resulted in the formation of UPP and Teras for SPDP.
Popular questions asked among Sarawakians are will and when the two new parties — UPP and Teras be accepted into the BN fold. If they are not accepted what will be the two parties’ role in the coming Sarawak election, which must be held by June this year.
All eyes are watching on how Adenan, as chairman of Sarawak BN, is going to resolve the matter. But Adenan has said that he will make his decision when the time comes after he has given enough chances to the four parties’ leadership concerned to resolve the matters among themselves.
Another question asked was if UPP and Teras are accepted into BN, will SUPP and SPDP be willing to compromise in the distribution of seats.
There are also speculations on who will get the 11 new seats, or to be exact the six remaining seats as Adenan has mentioned that Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) — the state BN backbone that he helmed — will get five from the eleven seats.
Seats and candidacies lobbying are already very strong on the ground, especially in the new seats as well as seats that are in the tussles between SUPP and UPP, and between SPDP and Teras.
Both SUPP and SPDP leaders have openly and repeatedly said they will never agree to the acceptance of UPP and Teras and insisted that they will not give any of their seats away to their respective rivals.
UPP is led by former SUPP deputy secretary-general Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh and has four state assemlymen with it while Teras is led by former SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom has five.
The state seats have been increased to 82 from 71.