PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chief Baru Bian has been forced to appeal to the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara to finalise their seat negotiations (if indeed there have been any) by next month through the media.
Through the media? Don’t they have a direct channel of communication? It seems that Baru has had to take his appeal public to get some attention.
It must be quite frustrating for Baru that things still have yet to be sorted out because he had written to both DAP and Amanah in November last year to request for seat negotiations.
In case you don’t remember, this move to start another marriage of (in)convenience involved the PKR state chief having to swallow his pride.
Prior to that Baru had famously declared that he would not approach DAP after their spat.
However, realising that PKR needs to be part of another unholy union [which has conveniently dropped Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) because of its splinter Amanah], Baru was forced to turn to the DAP, which is fixated with not just urban Chinese seats this time round but also insisting on contesting in rural Bumiputera seats.
Wait a minute you ask, aren’t Bumiputera seats where PKR intends to stand? Why yes, you would be right.
However, DAP has proven that it wants to rule Sarawak on it’s own – like they do in Penang (no matter what they say about a coalition government there) – and that it doesn’t care what PKR wants.
DAP has said it wants to contest in some 40 seats, while PKR has indicated it wants to stand in 45 seats.
It isn’t clear how many Amanah wishes to take but PAS has indicated it wants to stand in 11 seats including urban seats eyed by the DAP.
Baru will have a tough time trying to get what his party wants that’s for sure.
See during the last parliamentary election, the DAP absolutely refused to let PKR stand in the urban Chinese-majority seat of Stampin (but of course has no problem standing in PKR’s Bumiputera-majority seats).
PKR had to back down then and I guess PKR will again have to give DAP it’s way, if the party hopes to avoid multi-cornered fights in the 82 state constituencies.
But I guess it is a foregone conclusion that what the DAP wants the DAP will get. Scary to think what would happen if they were ever to come into power don’t you think?
Let’s hope Sarawak never has to find out what that would be like.
The story from the Malay Mail:
Wrap up seat negotiations by next month, Sarawak PKR chief tells Pakatan Harapan
By Sulok Tawie
KUCHING, Jan 10 — Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian urged today his counterparts in the state Pakatan Harapan components to give more urgency to the distribution of seats to avoid overlaps in the coming state election.
He noted that state Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had indicated recently that state polls may be called in March, and said Pakatan Harapan components PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) should conclude their discussions on who will contest which seats by mid-February as the state assembly may be dissolved by the end of the month.
“We must treat the finalisation of the seats as important as words are being spread around on social media that Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem may advise Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud to dissolve the state assembly at the end of February to pave the way for the next state elections in March,” Baru told reporters after a Christmas and New Year lunch hosted by PKR Stampin branch here.
“That is why I said that we in PH must seal our agreement on seat allocation by early or middle of February,” he said, referring to the new opposition pact.
He said state PKR leaders have officially met with Sarawak DAP leaders on seat allocations but have yet to reach any conclusion.
He said some of the seats eyed by the DAP had been contested by PKR in the 2011 state elections.
“There must be reasons why they want to contest those seats and why we want to re-contest those seats in the coming elections,” Baru said.