Four pre-election assemblies for PBB instead of one mega-gathering due to Covid-19

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 06 Sep 2020

MIRI: Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) will have to hold four regional delegates' assemblies in the run-up to the 12th Sarawak state elections.

Instead of one big party delegates general assembly, there will be four regional ones, said PBB senior vice-president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The regional assemblies will be held in Miri, Sibu, Betong and Kuching, he said at the Miri assembly which started yesterday evening.

In his address to the delegates, he said the party will have to carry out extra workload due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The precautions and standard operating procedures (SOPs) we have to adhere to means we cannot have big gatherings like before.

"We have to meet our delegates in their respective regions," he said.

Tengah said PBB as the backbone of the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) must win big in their state constituencies.

"PBB in northern Sarawak has always won big and we must do so again this coming state polls," he said.

Tengah said PBB has no choice but to win all its seats, as this state polls will be tough.

There are talks of snap polls this November.

Barring any serious setbacks, the second half of November will be the time for the 12th Sarawak state elections to be held.

That month has been officially mentioned by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg to party leaders of the GPS component parties in the ruling coalition.

Sources in GPS told The Star that Johari had spoken to the Election Commission on this but no date has been fixed yet for the dissolution of the state assembly.

Sarawak is the only state that holds its state election separately from the parliamentary polls.

The current state assembly term ends in June next year.

However, the uncertainties at the national political front is an excellent opportunity for Abang Johari and GPS to call for snap state elections.

Sarawak has 82 state constituencies and 31 parliamentary seats.

Out of the 82 state seats, GPS controls 68, while Sarawak DAP has five.

DAP had seven seats but its assemblyman in Pujut - Ting Tiong Choon - was disqualified by the Federal Court over citizenship issues and the seat has been declared vacant.

Another assemblyman - Wong King Wei of Padungan - resigned from DAP over party issues and became an Independent.

Sarawak PKR had three seats but two assemblymen left to join Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) who previously had four but now have six.

The third PKR assemblyman left Sarawak PKR to join Bersatu, meaning that Sarawak Bersatu has one seat.

PSB is an independent political grouping.

The GPS component parties are PBB, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Progressive Democratic Party and Sarawak United Peoples Party.

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