Friday, July 22, 2011

Sarawak General Election Likely To be In March or April 2011

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud returned Wednesday from his pilgrimage to Mecca and said he has received the inspiration on when to call the next state elections.

"I have the inspiration but I won't tell you (the date)," he told reporters at the Hornbill Skyways Hangar here.

Abdul Taib, who is Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman, said the state elections could be held in any of the 12 months in the year and that it was a matter of preparing the election machinery.

Political observers have predicted that the state elections will be held next month at the earliest and by March or April next year at the latest. The current term of the Sarawak legislative assembly expires in July next year.

Sarawak Barisan has 62 seats in the 71-seat assembly, with 34 held by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), 11 by Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), nine by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and eight by Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

The remaining nine seats are with the DAP, which has six, PKR one, and two independents, one of whom is Barisan-friendly.

On another matter, Abdul Taib said the Sarawak Barisan would let party-less Pelagus assemblyman Larry Sng decide on his political future.

He said that if Sng wanted to remain in Barisan, he would have to apply to be a direct associate member as his present status was unclear.

Sng, 31, who is assistant minister in the Chief Minister's Office, was reported saying on Nov 19 that his political future was uncertain as he was not sure whether to contest in the next state elections.

Sng won the seat on a PRS ticket in 2006 and the party sacked him the following year citing insubordination. Abdul Taib retained him in the state administration in November last year despite him being party-less.

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