Tussle over seats in Sarawak BN and splinter groups


KUCHING: Disputes over election seat allocations in the state Barisan Nasional will be resolved “one way or another”, the coalition’s chairman Adenan Satem said yesterday.

He said problems affecting BN component parties such as Sarawak United People’s Party and the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party will be resolved before nomination day of the coming 11th state elections.

Adenan said this would also include the seat allocation among the four component parties now that the number of state constituencies has been increased to 82 from 71.

“The problems will be resolved one way or another,” he said.

Internal crises within the two parties have resulted in the formation of the United People’s Party, a splinter of SUPP, and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak or Teras, from SPDP.

Both new parties have declared themselves as BN-friendly parties.

Four state assemblymen are in UPP, led by former SUPP deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh, and five assemblymen with Teras, led by former SPDP president William Mawan Ikom.

Both splinter parties expect their assemblymen to be re-nominated, but SPDP and SUPP have insisted they have the right to these seats as the two new parties have yet to join the state coalition.

Adenan declined to comment if Teras and UPP would be allowed to nominate their candidates to contest in the election or whether they would be given their share of the new seats.

He said his party, the Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, would get 40 seats, which included five new seats.

Another component party the Dayak-based Parti Rakyat Sarawak had more or less decided on its candidate list. The party led by state Land Development Minister James Masing currently has eight seats and is hoping to get two or three more of the new seats.