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Sarawak PKR: We’re better prepared than before

 | January 30, 2012

The April 2011 state election was a massive learning curve for young Sarawak PKR, and its three-seat win has helped chart its course for the coming parliamentary polls.

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR is a lot more confident going into the 13th general election than it was during last April’s state election.

The April polls had given it a massive hands-on experience. Since then, the party has been working the ground, identifying issues and collecting hard evidence to counter denials by Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s administration.

Said state PKR chairman Baru Bian: “We are better prepared this time than during the state election.

“We have been working for the past few months not only in the areas that have been allocated to us, but also in other areas controlled by DAP and PAS.

“We’ve been compiling all native customary rights (NCR) land cases, issues on SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy) and dams. These are matters which we will use in the coming election.”

In the last state election, PKR contested in 49 constituencies and managed to win three seats in Ba’ Kelalan, Krian and Batu Lintang. The three assemblymen are Bian, Ali Biju and See Chee How respectively.

While many within the Umno circles have dismissed PKR’s success in Sarawak as “miniscule”, others have said that it “showed that the opposition can win and that PKR had made inroads into Dayak grounds”, which was once considered the sacred turf of the Sarawak BN.

This time round Bian, a prominent land lawyer here, said the party will take a more realistic approach.

“We have identified issues. We have also identified our potential candidates and have submitted 10 names to Kuala Lumpur (PKR national headquarters),” he said.

Sarawak PKR is reportedly planning to contest in 12 constituencies. Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats.

Not taking things for granted

Last October, a member of the state PKR election bureau, Baharuddin Mokshen, told FMT that the party has been working hard in seven constituencies.

While he declined to confirm the names of the constituencies, it was learnt from reliable sources that he was refering to Stampin, Baram, Layar, Julau, Selangau, Mambong and Saratok.

The report also said the party was eyeing five other seats in Mas Gading, Petrajaya, Batang Lupar, Kanowit and Kapit, but this was subject to negotiations with DAP.

Baharuddin had at the time said that the party had “learnt its lesson” from the last April state election and would not take things for granted.

“We have been going to the ground, especially on seven seats that we are going to contest to ensure everything is in place.

“We have talked to the key people who are to be involved in the election such as the counting and polling agents, the potential candidates and on our manpower and other election requirements.

“We have learnt our lesson from the state election,” said Baharuddin.


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