MIRI: Sarawak PKR says independent political bloc Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) is expanding itself by luring away the state PKR's grassroots leaders and members.
Sarawak PKR vice-chairman Dr Teo Yu Keng claimed Thursday (Sept 10) that many of the PSB branches now are made up of former PKR people.
Dr Teo, who is Miri MP, was commenting on worries expressed by Sarawak ruling state coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) that PSB is a growing political threat in numerous state constituencies that can impact the 12th state polls.
However, he said Sarawak PKR is capable of recovering in time for the state polls expected to be in November.
PSB is led by president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, who was state Second Finance Minister.
PSB is made up of largely former GPS colleagues from the Sarawak Barisan Nasional era.
PSB have in their ranks former ministers and assistant ministers as well as grassroots chiefs who were once with Sarawak Barisan.
November has been officially mentioned by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun 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 dissolution of the state assembly.
Sarawak was the only state that holds its state election separately from the parliamentary polls.
The current state assembly term ends in June next year.
Sarawak has 82 state assembly seats and 31 parliamentary constituencies.
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 declared vacant.
Another assemblyman - Wong King Wei of Padungan - resigned from DAP over party internal issues and became an Independent.
Sarawak PKR had three seats but two assemblyman left to join PSB, which previously had four seats but now has six.
The third PKR assemblyman left Sarawak PKR to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, meaning that Sarawak Bersatu has one seat in the assembly.
PSB is an independent political grouping not aligned to GPS or Pakatan Harapan.
GPS component parties are PBB, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Progressive Democratic Party and Sarawak United Peoples Party.
Sarawak PH is made up of DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara.