KUCHING: The Sarawak State Assembly is likely to be dissolved today.
The press corps is expecting Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to make the announcement today as he has scheduled a media conference here before flying off to Sibu.
The chief minister was not in Kuala Lumpur to attend the funeral of the late Tun Ghafar Baba yesterday, signalling an urgent itinerary for him here.
Sources said Taib met with Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin yesterday afternoon to seek his consent to dissolve the assembly.
Earlier in the day, Taib dropped his strongest hint to date of an imminent election.
“Everybody seems to expect the election to be around the corner, why not follow them?
“There is not much difference between now and October (when the five-year term of the state assembly expires).”
It is no longer a surprise as “everybody knows” the state election is fast approaching, he said.
He said that after the assembly was dissolved, he would leave it to the Election Commission to decide on the nomination and polling dates.
Taib, who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu president and state Barisan Nasional chairman, said they had already drawn up their election manifesto.
He said his party had also finalised its list of 35 prospective candidates.
He added that two of the three other coalition partners – Sarawak United People’s Party, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party and Parti Rakyat Sarawak – had also submitted their lists but did not specify which two.
The Barisan won 60 of the 62 seats in the 2001 polls. Nine new seats are also at stake this time.
Taib ruled out talk that his son, Datuk Sri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib, would be fielded as a candidate in the polls.
“As of this moment, none of my children are interested in politics,” he said.