Thursday, April 14, 2011
Its tough, admits Najib
Prime Minister Najib admits it. Chief Minister Taib too. It will not going to be easier this time for Barisan Nasional, come Saturday April 16.
Although confidence is high in the BN camp that the ruling party would again secure a two-third majority, the number of votes may falter. Also, a few more state seats could go to the Opposition, especially the Sibu parliamentary by-election in May 2010 say the seat fell to DAP.
The BN assault is shouldered by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).
The 'urban Chinese' will again be the decider for BN. During the Sibu by-election, the Chinese were more fond of the Opposition promise of a change. SUPP, the Chinese representative in the state BN, lost six seats to the DAP in 2006, and they are again fighting to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese electorate.
Taib said in Kuching yesterday he was confident the BN would gain more than the 48 seats required for the two-thirds majority because the BN still enjoyed support in the Bumiputera areas that form 80 per cent of the constituencies.
The BN held 63 seats in the 71-member state assembly and is contesting all seats again this time.
The bulk of the opposition is coming from Peninsular-based Parti Keadilan Rakyat and DAP which are fielding 49 and 15 candidates respectively while PAS is contesting five seats. Homegrown Sarawak National Party is banking on a revival by standing in 26 seats after its talks with the PKR on seat distribution collapsed, while Parti Cinta Malaysia has six candidates.
A total of 213 candidates including 41 independents are contesting this time around.
Although analysts said BN could win by a bigger majority - plus the possible split in votes among the opposition because they had failed to compromise on seats due to greed - Najib and other leaders remained cautious.
As for the opposition harping on the tenure of Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, it is no longer an issue as Taib himself had indicated that he would retire in a year or two, and that his successor has been identified.
Issue brought up by Iban tribe on as when will 'an Ibanese' can become a Sarawak CM has also been defused while land tittle complication was settled much earlier.
The only thing that matters now is how to convince and persuade the Chinese to opt for BN. As Sibu has provided a morale booster to the Opposition, DAP could provide just the challenge for BN candidates on Saturday.
However, with a full force machinery from the Peninsular - including PM, DPM Muhyiddin and other senior ministers - Sarawakians should be able to get the message clear that only BN can champion their causes.