MIRI: The redelineation exercise of electoral boundaries of state constituencies in Sarawak is going to favour the Barisan Nasional Sarawak during the coming state election, according to PAS state and national leaders.
The creation of 11 new seats by the Election Commission throughout Sarawak would see the opposition parties facing even more difficult challenges as these new seats were all strongholds of the BN parties, said PAS national vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
Visiting the newly-established PAS office in Bintulu town two days ago, he said that the redelineation exercise being carried out now would mean that the Pakatan Rakyat would have to carry out even more extensive ground preparations from now until the next state election due by mid-2016.
“The creation of 11 new state seats throughout Sarawak will make the coming state election even tougher for the opposition parties to win.
“The road ahead for Pakatan Rakyat has become more difficult because we will have to be even more robust in our ground preparations now.
“With the creation of these additional seats, we believe that it has become more favourable for the state BN, but still we are prepared to field candidates even in the new seats, especially in Samalaju,” he said.
PAS Bintulu chairman Mohd Azwani Abdul Rani and other state leaders accompanied Ibrahim during his visit to Bintulu.
Sarawak PAS has already staked a claim to three state constituencies in northern Sarawak that the party wants to contest in during the coming state election.
PAS senior state leaders held a meeting last month and concluded that the party would be contesting in at least three state seats in northern Sarawak.
The party has not decided whichseats it wants in the southern part.
The seats it wants to contest in northern Sarawak include Miri Division and Bintulu Division.
In Miri Division, the party wants to contest against BN in the Senadin state constituency (locatedbetween Miri City and the Sarawak-Brunei border) and in the Lambir state seat (located between Miri City and Batu Niah town).
In Bintulu Division, it eyes the Jepak state seat (located next to Bintulu town).
Senadin is currently in the hands of the Barisan Nasional component party of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).
Lambir is controlled by BN’s component party of Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB). Jepak is also in the hands of the PBB.
During the PAS leaders meeting in Bintulu, 60 senior leaders of the party were present and they staked the claims to the three seats after deciding that the party had good chances of defeating the BN in these constituencies, said Azwani.
“Sarawak PAS is ready to face BN in the coming state election which we feel will be held next year.“Sarawak PAS will be contesting in Senadin, Lambir and Jepak.
“We want to see a straight fight against BN,” he said.
Azwani said the party was already actively going to the ground to meet the rakyat and it had started welfare projects that would benefit the people.
PAS Sarawak had been trying hard to make inroads into the Sarawak state assembly but had failed to win any seat as yet.
Azwani said that Sarawak PAS was confident that the election would see greater support from the voters in the state to enable PAS to make a breakthrough.