Pelagus state assemblyman Larry Sng, who was expelled from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) last year, seems unperturbed by his “partyless” status despite the state election being only eight months, or less, away.
He continues to go around doing his duty as an elected representative as well as an assistant minister.
By spending most of his times in the constituency, Sng is giving the indication that he wants to defend his seat.
“My heart is always with BN. I will join the right party at the right time and of course through consultation with other BN leaders,” he said.
Sng has however told many of his friends that his “partyless” status will soon be over.
But on whose ticket is he going to contest – BN, as an independent or PKR? This is the question many are asking.
Even though he says that he will be return to a party within BN, going back to PRS is out of the question.
PRS president James Masing has made it clear that the door to the party is “permanently closed” to Sng.
“We are adamant in keeping Sng out,” Masing said, expressing hope that leaders from other BN component parties will respect this decision.
Joining SPDP or SUPP?
Rumours of him joining SPDP have been circulating in Julau since early this year. But SPDP president William Mawan has dismissed this.
“No such thing. Where did you hear such rumours?” he retorted when asked by newsmen.
Lately, there are strong rumours that Sng has applied to join SUPP where he may be given the Meradong seat to contest or even the Padungan seat.
Sng’s famous father-in-law, Ting Phek Khiing, comes from the Meradong constituency. And the incumbent for the Meradong seat is DAP’s Ting Tze Hui.
In Kuching, rumours have it that Sng’s name is one of the three mentioned as possible candidates for the Padungan seat. The other two are Lily Yong, a former state assemblywoman and Kuching mayor James Chan.
But Sng himself denied that he has been knocking at the doors of SUPP. “I have not submitted my application to SUPP,” he said.
On the SUPP front, its leaders appear reluctant to accept Sng into the party.
“We have our own people groomed to be candidates in the two constituencies (Padungan and Meradong),” said SUPP secretary-general Sim Kheng Hui when asked about the rumours.
PKR or direct-BN candidate?
Speculation is rife that Sng may contest as an independent candidate in Pelagus or even as a candidate of PKR.
His father, Sng Chee Hua, has a close relationship with PKR leaders. They say that the senior Sng is opening the way for the junior Sng to join the opposition. It is only a matter of time, they claim.
But if Sng insists on remaining in BN, his future lies in the hands of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. Only Taib has the “power” to determine his candidacy and under which party Sng will contest.
Taib may even allow Sng to contest as a direct-BN candidate.
But if Taib insists on Sng contesting in the Pelagus seat as a direct-BN member, he is not only going to set a precedent but also undermine Masing and PRS in the constituency which has over 90% Dayak voters. There are bound to be complications and repercussions.
Certainly, Masing will put up a candidate of his own, and it is certain to cause a split in BN. In which case, the opposition will stand to gain from this.
The other possible implication is that Masing may pull out of BN at the eleventh hour of the election. Masing has eight state representatives and his withdrawal from BN is sure to deal a blow to the ruling coalition.
For the time being, everybody is watching what Taib is going to do with Sng.
If he drops him he is likely to incur the wrath of tycoon Ting Phek Khiing, his ally. If Taib retains Sng he may be accused of undermining the spirit of BN.