Sarawak Pakatan pledges straight fights with BN

By Adib Zalkapli | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties have pledged to ensure straight fights with Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming state election, which must be called by July next year.

The fragile coalition of four parties — DAP, PAS, PKR and local opposition party SNAP — made the decision at the inaugural meeting of its leadership council last night.

Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng told The Malaysian Insider that the state PR is also aiming to take over the government led by Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has been in power for almost three decades.

“The leadership council also decided to topple BN in the state election, so we are aiming for at least 50 per cent of the seats,” said Wong.

“At the very least we must deny the two-thirds majority,” he added.

The current term of the Sarawak assembly expires in July next year and the government is expected to call for state election by the end of this year.

The opposition collectively won nine seats in 2006, its best performance ever due to the increase in land premium payments and oil price hikes, which took place just two months before the state assembly was dissolved.

DAP currently controls six seats in the 71-member state assembly while PKR has one. Two independents Gabriel Adit and Johnichal Rayong, who won in 2006, have joined the new party, Parti Cinta Malaysia and BN’s SUPP respectively.

When asked if the council has identified a suitable candidate to be offered as replacement for Taib, Wong said the matter would be decided after the state election.

“We have sufficient candidates to be offered as CM, but we leave that after the election,” he said.

Wong also said that PR would come out with a common manifesto for the election to portray its seriousness in taking over the government.

“We are contesting one-to-one, so we will come out with a common manifesto and common theme in the election,” he said.

Wong added that the manifesto would be finalised by the state PR council after consulting each party.

On whether DAP has resolved overlapping claims on five disputed seats with PKR, Wong said the matter would be discussed by the parties’ subcommittee on seat allocation.

“We did not discuss the seat allocation last night, but it will be handled by the subcommittees, which will meet soon,” said Wong.

Both parties are in a tussle over which party gets to field candidates in at least five state constituencies in urban areas which are considered opposition strongholds.

In Election 2008, the two parties could not come to an agreement and were caught in a three-cornered fight against BN in the two federal constituencies of Stampin and Sibu. Both were won by the ruling coalition.

Both parties have met three times since early this year over the overlapping seats but have yet to reach an agreement.

Separately, PKR is also in negotiations with PAS and SNAP, over several rural seats with insignificant opposition presence.

  1. #1 by HJ Angus on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 4:26 pm

    I suggest winning just 50% of the seats is not a good target as it will create the ideal situation for more “kataks” and make the state unstable.
    Work hard for an extra margin of 50% plus at least 10 seats.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 4:36 pm

    Make the following an issue in Sarawak—

    PAS vice president Datuk Mahfuz Omar speaking at a press conference said the government’s reason for cutting food subsidies to reduce the fiscal deficit did not hold water because the subsidy given to IPPs was far bigger than for food “The government must answer why subsidies worth RM18 9 billion given to IPPs were not removed but food subsidies that only cost the government RM3 4 billion has to be removed gradually ” said the Pokok Sena MP.

    He said the move by the government will only “increase the burden of the rakyat” “Why would the government remove subsidies when the government still has a surplus income ” he said referring to media reports quoting Second Finance Minister Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah as saying that the government still has a surplus of RM10 billion even without implementing the subsidy adjustment.

  3. #3 by Winston on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 5:17 pm

    UMNO/BN have been shooting themselves in both feet all the time.
    So, it should not be too difficult to topple them.
    It’s a matter of will.
    The Filipinos have topple an even more obnoxious government.
    Why can’t we?

  4. #4 by HJ Angus on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 5:42 pm

    Maybe this is Putrajaya’s strategy to get rid of the Sarawak Chief Minister?
    If BN does badly, it will provide a chance to change the leadership in the state and make UMNO more powerful – but of course for the GE I don’t believe it will make any difference if the Sarawak folks want to reclaim their dignity and control of their own destiny.

  5. #5 by penang lim on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 5:57 pm

    Given the current political scenario , Pakatan Govt is going to make inroads this coming state elections , cheers !

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 6:01 pm

    lets be honest, while many hope, no one really expect PR to win Sarawak this time round. However, even winning a few more seats would rock Najib’s political career and force an earlier leadership change which would also be progress to Federal change. If PR gets at least 1/3 seats it would be an amazing feat already and give a high probablity that Najib career won’t last very much beyond the next GE.

    At the moment, UMNO has a very tenous holds on all the many component parties of Sabah and Sarawak, losing even just 10 more Parliamentary seats means that anyone of those many greedy warlords can hold UMNO ransom. MIC, MCA, Taib and Musa Aman hold so much sway in UMNO precisely because they keep those little parties in check. 10 more parliamentary seats and MIC, MCA, Taib and Musa Aman can’t do that anymore. There is no way Najib-led UMNO can keep all those greedy warlords in line on their own. There simple is not that much loot to go around.

    So winning Sarawak is not that important. PR need to win 10-12 Parliamentary seat more in the next GE to shake UMNO/BN to the core and that is doable starting with Sarawak state election.

  7. #7 by frankyapp on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 6:18 pm

    Frankly speaking can PR stick to its pledges ? Any flip/flog decision will damage its reputation,hence its members must ensure the selection and appointment of the final list of candidates must run smoothly. I think PR must put in every effort to secure at least 46 seats out of the total of 71 seats up for grasp. PR too must find a full-proof method to prevent any “katak” in the event of say winning a slim majority. The Sarawak CM is a very very wealthy man and he can afford to pay any amount to take in the number of frogs should he say lacking a few seats to form the government or he needed a few more to enjoy a 2/3 majority in the assembly. Perak is a hard earned lesson ,hence if PR won the Sarawak state election,let us hope ,history will not be repeated again.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 8:24 pm

    PR must not select candidates who are heavily in debt e.g. candidates who have problems in paying car loans, bank loans etc. That is to prevent the emergence of “katak”.

    PR may stress on the following issues to garner votes.

    1. Najib has tacitly admitted that the country is on the way to bankruptcy. That is why he executes the subsidy reduction plan.

    2. If BN wins, the rakyat will have to face a dismal prospect of GST implementation.

    3. Media repression – as seen in the suspension of PR publication licences.

    4. 1Malaysia is falling apart with Muhyiddin and Najib at loggerheads over “Chinese Perkasa”.

  9. #9 by monsterball on Monday, 19 July 2010 - 9:04 pm

    One must not forget Sarawak was under BN all along and the Sibu miracle was the sign of better things to come from Sarawakians.
    Natuirally…it will be nice to see a complete rejection of BN government…….but to win by a simple majority by PR will be the first step to better things for the whole of Malaysia.
    Let PR win Sarawak…be it by a small majority or large enough not to worry about frogs jumping.
    First thing first…win the control of the government and with two third majority….PR can govern and kill off frogs hopping….with laws to stop frogs being Parliamentarians…and stay as frogs and out of politics and party completely.
    With a little imaginations..PR can control frogs.
    It is winning the change of government that matters most…right now.
    Telling DAP or PR what to do and what not to do….will not help.
    Our future lies with People Power and People want to get rid of CORRUPTIONS and double standards….for true unity as Malaysians.
    Voters will decide and Najib is an appointed PM that Malaysians know him too well by now.
    Only racists and corrupted people want him to lead.
    How many?….72%?
    Najib is BALDERDASH to Malaysians.

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 2:03 am

    Still a long way 4 fragmented PR 2 win control of Sarawak fr BN
    Sarawakians still cling 2 BN, sell their votes 2 BN/Pek Moh 4 a few $$$, n like 2 b exploited by BN

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 2:28 am

    DAP has stange members in East Malaysia
    Is this self-proclaimed Sabah DAP deputy publicity chief Sir Jeffery Wong Su En real or an avatar?
    Sarawak got many PR members like this aah?

  12. #12 by monsterball on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 3:15 am

    Sarawakians will surprise many Malaysians again.
    Like the Sibu miracle…to tell all Malaysians…better late than never…a repeat performance from a bigger picture.. is expected to shame the devils and for those that talk alot and are doing nothing.

  13. #13 by limkamput on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 7:27 am

    for those that talk alot and are doing nothing// big mouth

    who is talking a lot other than the one who is talking alot? who is doing nothing other than the one who does nothing but talking alot all day?

  14. #14 by dagen on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 8:45 am

    This stupid thing about umno and jib. They keep on bringing up the issue on umno wanting to unite with pas. They are using it to stir emotions and to rock the pakatan partnership. Any good idea how this stupid idiotic thingy could be countered or better still turned into a weapon against umno and jib?

    As for sarawak, oh yes pakatan has made nice inroad there. I am quite confident of that. How far in, that is another question. It would be a safe bet to observe that folks in towns and cities are for opposition. And chinese in villages too. Pakatan’s actual performance (whether can gain control of state government) will have to depend on the political inclination of the rest of sarawakians. I am not terribly familiar with that state. Pardon my ignorance. So I cant really comment much. Educating sarawakians now working or living in peninsular; and telling them all about the real devil, ie umno, is indeed a good strategy. Do a multi-level thingy on them. Ask them to tell their folks at home – to share what they have learned and seen and experienced in peninsular with friends, relatives and neighbours back home. But do not use words like “Boleh tak?” They belong to jib so dont touch them.

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