Not a wild dream for state BN to win 28 seats – Political analyst

KUCHING: The state BN’s target of winning 28 seats in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14) is realistically achievable, said a prominent political analyst Dr Jeniri Amir of Unimas.

He expressed confidence that BN can achieve victory in 14 seats contested by PBB, six by PRS; four by PDP and four by SUPP.

“With the right candidates and with both UPP and SUPP cooperating on the ground, the state BN could achieve the 28-seat target as revealed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in Mukah over the weekend,” said Jeniri.

However, Jeniri stressed that what was important was for both SUPP and UPP to continue to cooperate, especially in getting the right candidates who could win the seats for BN.

“With the BN machinery, we can expect it could at least win the three urban seats; namely Stampin, Sibu and Miri,” he said, adding that Serian would be a safe seat for BN.

On Saratok, Jeniri said for BN not to rock the boat, it would be safe to assume that it would allocate the seat to PDP.

“It’s based on consensus and understanding in BN and looking at the big picture, I don’t think PBB will take the seat. So we don’t expect there will be any change in the seat per se even though the incumbent Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom has declared himself as a PBB member,” said Jeniri.

On PRS, he believed the Dayak-based party could prevail even though it had not announced its candidates for Lubok Antu and Selangau constituencies.

“The way I see it is that the party is still solid even though there seemed to be a bit of clash in the party between its president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing and his deputy Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun. But come election time, they will patch up,” said Jeniri.

On some PBB seats, Jeniri hinted that Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who has been in politics for the last 28 years, would give way to new blood.

“But at the end of the day, it’s up to the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister to pick the BN candidates,” he stressed.

It has been a known fact that PBB will field new faces in Puncak Borneo, Betong and Mukah as the incumbents have either expressed their desire to retire from active politics or take a new role in the state, as in the case of Deputy Chief Minister and Bukit Saban assemblyman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who will not be defending his seat in the upcoming GE14.

Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit has expressed his desire to retire due to poor health and Tan Sri Leo Michel Toyad Abdullah is giving way to a new face in Mukah.

Meanwhile, Wan Juniaidi said he was leaving his political future to both the Chief Mminister and the Prime Minister.

“As politician, we cannot be worried over the things that we cannot decide. So I don’t want to worry about my candidacy,” he said.

When pressed further, Wan Junaidi said he had no hint yet from both the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister on whether he would be fielded in the upcoming GE14.

“But what’s important is I am ready for whatever decisions they make,” said the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

Wan Junaidi, who was MP for Batang Lupar from 1990 till 2004 and thereafter was MP for Santubong, reiterated that if he is given another term, he will develop entrepreneurship skills among his constituents in the three state constituencies of Pantai Damai, Demak Laut and Tanjung Dato.

“We can’t rely on ready employment either in the public or private sector. So we have to develop entrepreneurship skills among our people in all sectors of economy such as agriculture, tourism and trading,” said Wan Junaidi.