June 23, 2010 15:08 PM
Sarawak BN To Meet For Early Election?
By Alan Ting
KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) – An unannounced Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting this weekend has given rise to speculation that the state is possibily gearing up for an early election before its term ends in July, next year.
Several BN leaders, when contacted, confirmed that a meeting called by Chief Minister and state BN chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud would take place this weekend.
But they remain tight-lipped on the agenda of the meeting.
“Yes, we have a meeting this weekend but sorry, it’s not for media coverage,” a state leader, who did not want to be identified, told Bernama.
Party insiders said the meeting was mainly to discuss preparations in the event of an early state election this year, after the Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), the biggest state BN component, completes its five-day retreat session in Mulu on Friday.
PBB holds 34 state seats, followed by Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) with 11, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) nine and the Sarawak Progresive Democratic Party (SPDP) eight.
Only SUPP and PRS have lost the seats they contested to the Opposition, in the last state election in 2006, while PBB and SPDP won all.
SUPP was allocated 19, but lost eight seats to the opposition, particulary DAP, while PRS, which was allocated 10 state seats, lost the Ngemah seat to an independent.
The state has 71 constituencies.
According to the grapevine, of late, the state election might be held this year, despite the BN’s recent setback in the Sibu parliamentary by-election where its SUPP candidate failed to defend the seat which was won by DAP.
Such talk became intense after Taib last week openly said that he had decided the next state election would be held on “a Saturday”.
“I have decided that the state election will be held on a Saturday,” he said, without providing any other hint when asked by a reporter during a function at his office.
However, Taib dismissed speculation that the state election will be held in October, following suggestions from Fengshui experts who believed that 10/10/10 (Oct 10, 2010), a Sunday, was an auspicious day for the election.