Thursday, April 14, 2016

#PRNSarawak: State BN could lose seats due to sabotage, says analyst

Sabotage within Barisan Nasional due to Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem's (pic) inability to resolve the SUPP-UPP and SPDP-Teras issues could cost the coalition more than a few seats, an analyst says.

"Some seats are getting 'blacker' for Barisan like Mulu and Ba'kelalan. And then there are seats like Marudi, which Adenan announced the candidate for last year; but he has now discovered there could be better candidates. In Tasik Biru, he is also caught between the incumbent and a new, perhaps more winnable guy," Assoc Prof Jeniri Amir told The Star on Wednesday.

Late last year, the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak political scientist conducted a poll which found Adenan with a 85% approval rating. However, tussles could "negate" his popularity, the academic said, adding that Pakatan Harapan could gain as a result.

"Candidate selection has become Adenan's biggest headache. He has to be careful. A wrong strategy would create a lot of problems. Very messy. It seems like there is bound to be sabotaging," Jeniri said.

Dropped candidates could "on paper" pledge support but "real politik doesn't work that way", he said.

At the same time, Adenan could be courting the anger of other Sarawak Barisan component parties by fielding PBB-linked "direct candidates".

PBB is getting stronger by the day by virtue of seats it will directly have influence over. And this could upset the balance within the state Barisan's four parties.

"Tan Sri James Masing has been very vocal on this. It's a threat to his party," Jeniri said, referring to PRS president.

Officially, PBB is contesting 40 seats in the coming election, in which there are 82 up for grabs. But on Tuesday, Adenan announced three new "direct candidates", all of whom resigned from PBB in order to stand.

Of the three seats, Mulu was eyed by component party SPDP, while SUPP had expressed interests in Bukit Semuja.
Compounding the situation is SPDP losing the newly created Samalaju seat to PRS, while SUPP has already lost several to incumbents currently with UPP.

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