AH Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has finally come out and said it out loud and clear that they wish to stand in at least 12 parliamentary seats in Sarawak. So we are to assume that there is no compromise on these seats.
That seems to indicate the former ‘pack leader’ in the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but is actually now the junior partner to the Democratic Action Party (DAP), will no longer kowtow to DAP on these 12 seats. The party had earlier indicated it wanted 15 seats, so I guess it will allow the DAP some leeway on the extra three seats.
This is because the DAP has also said it wants 15 seats. And Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) has indicated it wants up to three seats in Muslim majority areas.
In case you didn’t know, there are only 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak.
That’s probably why there has yet to be any agreement on the division of these seats. The DAP has gotten greedy lately and wants to legitimise its claims of being a multiracial party, so it is now trying to move in on Bumiputera majority areas, instead of just trying to rile up the Chinese community in urban areas. And of course these are areas which PKR wants.
So PKR has announced loud and clear that it wants at least 12 seats, and staked its claim, according to media reports, on the following: Stampin, Santubong, Petra Jaya, Mambong and Mas Gading.
Apparently the party also wants Baram, Layar, Julau, Selangau, Saratok, Batang Lupar, Kanowit and Kapit.
DAP has previously indicated interest in both Stampin and Mas Gading. Mambong is also where DAP held its failed Dayak ‘Reawakening’ seminar, which was attended by no one but DAP organisers and restaurant staff.
Perhaps the fact that DAP has the gall to even consider taking PKR’s former Dayak members led by Jimmy Donald has actually riled party members, so they have come out openly to announce their territory!
Perhaps the party is finally sick of being pushed around by the Chinese-based DAP, sick of being pushed out of the driving seat of PR in the State.
Strangely though it was PKR’s secretariat representative Baharuddin Mokhsen, who made the announcement and not state liaison chief Baru Bian. State PKR vice-chairman See Chee How was also not present at the press conference.
The Borneo Post’s report:
State PKR eyes minimum 12 parliamentary seats
By Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith
KUCHING: It appears that PKR is eyeing a minimum of 12 seats in the state for the coming general election if their recent auditing exercise is anything to go by.
The list includes the five constituencies in Kuching Division – Stampin, Santubong, Petra Jaya, Mambong and Mas Gading.
Although there was no confirmation that the seat negotiation among Pakatan Rakyat component parties had been concluded, the PKR election committee secretariat here revealed yesterday that it had been instructed to conduct a thorough audit on all the parliamentary constituencies PKR would be contesting in the 13th general election.
“Based on the number of seats to be audited, PKR is eyeing 12 to 13 parliamentary constituencies. Among the seats yet to be audited are five Kuching area seats of Stampin, Santubong, Petra Jaya, Mambong and Mas Gading which we will carry out soon.
“However, confirmation of seats lies in the hands of the federal PKR election committee bureau through their negotiations with all the top leaders of PR,” said secretariat representative Baharuddin Mokhsen at a press conference held at PKR Stampin branch office at 3rd Mile here.
He also disclosed that seats negotiation was going on smoothly due to better understanding and stronger ties between the PR partners.
Stating that PKR’s preparation for the election was “very advanced”, he revealed that state PKR was confident of winning its allocated seats to enable PR to form the government after the election.
Touching on their auditing exercise, Baharuddin mentioned that only a little fine tuning was needed as the party was currently getting feedbacks from the ground on matters that contributed to its poor performance in the April state polls.
“Reports revealed that lots of our election machinery did not perform up to standard. In addition, some reports did not tally with the actual goings-on at the ground.
“The election committee went to the ground to meet with members to find out what happened. We have discovered many loopholes and weaknesses which would be rectified,” he continued.
When asked why PKR decided to settle for less than half of Sarawak’s 31 parliamentary seats, Baharuddin explained that from past experience the party did not want to be stretched too thin, especially in terms of logistics.