SARAWAK STATE POLLS??
Taib says PBB members excited about prospects of election while he waits for inspiration for date
KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud was tight-lipped as to the date of the next state election although he did admit delegates of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the party he leads, were talking about election issues during the convention that ended yesterday
He said he was rather amused by delegates discussing election issues during the party’s triennial general meeting (TGM).
“Everyone, in fact, was talking excitedly about election. That was very funny thing. They were very keen, so I told them they could start getting the machinery ready.
“I may call it earlier or later, depending on the inspiration I get,” he told journalists minutes after his winding up speech at the PBB TGM at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here.
Asked what the mood of delegates had hinted to him, Taib said: “You (reporters) see for yourselves. In there, they can pretend to me. But when I am not around…
“Well, you advise me then,” he said when pressed further if election would be called this year.
He even joked later: “The election will be next year or the day after (tomorrow).”
The term of the current government expires in July next year but many political observers and opposition parties believe the chief minister may call an early election to take advantage of the prevailing feel-good factor as the result of a recovering economy plus the many goodies announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his recent visit to the rural areas of the state.
Fuelling the speculation of an early state election are the constant visits of federal ministers to Sarawak once a month beginning last year. The state BN won 62 of the 71 seats in the state election in May 2006, with the PBB winning 35 Bumiputera-majority seats.
Apart from PBB, the other BN component parties in Sarawak are Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
On the line-up of the new PBB supreme council, Taib said although it remained very much the same, the party had maintained its high standard of cohesion and strong orientation towards serving the communities and ‘people first attitude’.
“They are very keen to get Sarawak to use all the money that the federal government is giving to enable Sarawak to catch up with the rest of Malaysia.”
He added that the state was the third or fourth most developed state in the nation.
Asked if PBB branches were directed to submit names of potential candidates for the coming state election, he said this was not PBB’s way of doing things.
“This is not our system. You’ll find out that our system is much more efficient and the correct way,” he said.
To a suggestion made by a reporter that PBB could be model for other BN components in Sarawak, he said: “Why not? You tell me where are the other parties stronger than PBB and better than PBB? I doubt it.”
Posted by 4th Man at 11:00