Sarawak PKR and its Pakatan Rakyat partners are ready to face Sarawak BN in the upcoming state elections, which is likely to be held in April or early May.
“We will make sure that they will not win uncontested,” Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said today.
The opposition coalition has more or less agreed on the seat allocations for each respective parties – PKR, DAP, PAS and Sarawak National Party (Snap) – after three rounds of negotiations.
“We have yet to decide on fewer than 10 seats because of the overlapping claims by Pakatan partners,” he said.
Baru said the bulk of the 71 seats to be contested in the upcoming elections will be allocated to PKR.
“We also have candidates ready to be fielded in areas allocated to our Pakatan partners in case they are unable to find suitable candidates,” he explained.
“The aim is to make sure that the BN does not win uncontested simply because we do not have good candidates,” he said.
“At the end of the day, we will face BN in straight fights. We have never had so good an understanding as of now among our Pakatan partners,” he said.
Baru also introduced four of the PKR potential candidates for the upcoming elections.
They are civil engineer Peter Ato (for Tarat seat), IT consultant Willie Mongin (Bengoh), former deputy president of the Sarawak Council for Customs and Traditions Nicholas Bawin (Batang Ai) and businessman Frankie Bedindang (Balleh).
On speculations that Snap may go its separate ways, Baru said the question is best left to the party to answer.
Speculations are rife than Snap may contest on its own, with the backing of Parti Kita and citizen groups, Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and United Borneo Front.
Taib’s list of 71 candidates ready
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has received a list of 71 names of candidates in the upcoming elections.
“We already have the candidates but I cannot announce their names now,” he told reporters after opening the Al-Amin Beladin Mosque Beladin, Sri Aman Division, yesterday.
He added that the BN would normally only announce the names before nomination day.
Taib, who is also PBB president, said his party has come up with the list of candidates for the 35 state seats, but their names will only be revealed at an appropriate time.
He said at least 10 of the candidates are new faces, but he declined to reveal their names.
Among those expected to be dropped are Bolhassan Di (Beting Maro), Frederick Bayoi (Tarat), Hamden Ahmad (Belawai) Dr Wahbi Junaidi (Saribas), Awang Bemi (Nangka) and Sarawak State Assembly speaker Asfia Awang Nasar.
Taib urged those who will be dropped or those who have lobbied to be candidates but not picked, to continue supporting the BN.
“What we want is the best brain from each constituency to become the people’s elected representative, so they could plan the best way to develop the constituency,” he stressed.
Taib said the government under BN gave priority to the overall development of the people.
He stressed that if the state did not develop its resources, the people would remain poor and uneducated.
According to him, the state had so far developed two million acres of land for palm oil to provide employment to the people.