By TERRY TAN
It’s interesting to observe how well the newly registered Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) will fare in the next Sarawak election (PRN12), due in July 2021.
Helmed by former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan, PBK has a clear-cut vision: The 1963 formation of Malaysia was greatly flawed and the best solution is to seek independence for Sarawak through constitutional and legal means.
Many have reasoned that should PBK manage to make an impact in local politics, the lead ought to come from the Chinese who have been known (throughout history) to fight for a political cause rather than to patronise any political party or individual personality.
On the other hand, the rural folk tend to be hesitant about the prospects of seeking full independence for Sarawak.
If this theory holds water, the battleground for PBK will mainly concentrate in the urban areas where DAP and SUPP hold sway, thus driving a wedge among Chinese voters.
Hence, the seats to watch are likely Padungan, Pending, Sentosa, Batu Lintang which are all DAP strongholds except for Batu Lintang which is held by PKR.
Voters still remember how there was a seat swap between DAP and PKR before the state election in 2011 whereby Dominque Ng (PKR incumbent for Padungan) and Voon (DAP incumbent for Batu Lintang) were booted out of their seats mysteriously in favour of Wong King Wei and See Chee How.
It is said that come PRN12, Voon has “several cats in the bag” which have yet to be released.
Meanwhile, after GE14, many are beginning to see DAP Sarawak as a Malayan lackey singing to the Malayan tune most of the time.
On the other hand, many still perceive SUPP as a weak partner of the GPS coalition without any veto power.
Another ambitious political party arriving on the scene is Sarawak Baru, a coalition of four Sarawak parties: State Reform Party (STAR), Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB), Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras).
Whatever it is, the next Sarawak election will be a colourful one. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.