Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING:While the guessing game continues on when the upcoming state polls will be called, a state leader has hinted it may come sooner rather than later.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believed the Sarawak election would be called this year instead of next year.

“Well, I think it is an open secret that it (the state election) will be held soon, but personally, I see that it will be held by the end of the year.

“How are we going to have it next year? We have so many events next year —we just feel that we are ready for it.

“It’s not just us, the opposition is ready. They are already on the ground, even more than us, if you look at the flags,” he told a press conference here today.

Abdul Karim said it is also likely that the general election would be called at the same time as the state election due to the slim majority attained by the federal government in Parliament.

“We can’t have a parliament where the difference is only one or two seats between government and opposition. If a Member of Parliament (MP) passes away, it would be a hung parliament and also in Malaysia, it is common to see party hopping,” he said.

On the prospect of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the upcoming state election, Abdul Karim, who is also Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, said the ruling coalition would win the election handsomely.

“We can get two-thirds majority and we can even win more than the last state election,” he enthused.

He added that GPS’ opponents, be it local-based parties or Malayan parties, would not stand a chance, adding that voters had made up their minds and would not fail GPS.

“West Malaysian parties will be wiped out and local-based parties are like mushrooms after rain. It is common for them to pop up when the election nears.

“Some de-registered parties even tried to get themselves registered just for the election. Such as waste of money,” he said.

Abdul Karim said GPS’ allies at the federal level, vying to contest in the state election, should not go through with their decision out of respect for the state coalition.

“Don’t contest against us. Respect the state government. We have been managing the state well. Don’t disturb us over here,” he said.