Posted By rajlira On 19th February 2008 @ 00:03 In Local
MIRI: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has put an end to speculation on the new Sibuti seat, saying it would be represented by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).Giving the new seat to PBB to contest, according to him, is a fair reflection of Sarawak’s backbone party’s actual strength and representation in the state and parliamentary seats without taking seats from other BN component parties under the present political scenario.
His announcement drew loud cheers from PBB leaders and members here attending a two-hour closed door meeting with Taib as party president, and senior vice-president Dato Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
Also present were Lambir assemblyman Aidan Wing, and Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus.
The meeting was held at Marriott Resort Hotel and Spa here.
The Sibuti seat has been the subject of contention between PBB and SUPP, with the latter even naming Sebastian Ting, political secretary to Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui as its candidate last year.
PBB is also expected to field candidates in the new Igan and Limbang seats, but the identity of the candidates would not be revealed until today.
Taib, who is also the state BN chairman, confirmed that Sibuti belonged to PBB when interviewed later outside the meeting venue, saying categorically that the days of lobbying and tussle for the seat were over.
He said the allocation of seats to PBB was based on the reflection of the party’s strength throughout Sarawak in the state and parliamentary constituencies.
The meeting with the heads of PBB branches here yesterday was made following the supreme council meeting in Kuching on Feb 17, that decided to stick to the proven formula of seat adjustments and additional new seats.
“We (PBB) represent more than half of the BN seats, and any adjustment or increase in seats, we try to make up for the number of seats in parliament on par with state seats.
“We stick to the formula to avoid taking seats from other parties, and going backwards,” the Chief Minister said.
PBB wanted the seats to be allocated to the party as actual reflection of their strength and presence in Sarawak, he added.
PBB won all its 35 seats in the last state election, with its partner Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) also romping home in all the eight seats allocated.
SUPP lost six seats to opposition party DAP, and one to SNAP out of 19 seats the BN coalition party was allocated.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) lost to an independent candidate in one of the nine seats.
Dr Chan, who is a deputy chief minister, stressed that the Chinese had to strive to enhance their participation in politics to effectively solve the various problems faced.
“Don’t let others keep describing the Chinese as ‘scattered sand’ who could come for discussions. If a person of calibre is there to lead the way, the Chinese will for sure stay united,” Dr Chan said.
He noted that the Chinese community placed two aspects above all when it came to politics.
“The majority of the Chinese firstly emphasise business opportunities and secondly their children’s education. If these two conditions are fulfilled, they will be satisfied,” he said.
Urging the people to support the SUPP candidate for Bandar Kuching Alan Sim, Dr Chan believed Sim, if given the chance, would sincerely serve the community to his fullest.
“Politics is never easy. If he (Sim) is elected, he will work really hard like a bull for everyone. If anyone has any problem, can just approach him,” he added.
Earlier, president of the federation Chou Chii Ming urged the Chinese community to stay united and give a mandate to the BN.
He hoped the State government would be more proactive in coming up with flood prevention projects for the city particularly in areas like Jalan Sekama and Jalan Green after BN won in the election.
Chou also said the federation would continue pushing the government to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) of Chinese independent schools.
“The issue has been raised over and over again but we are not giving up, as millions have been spent annually to have our children educated in Chinese independent schools nationwide.
He added that the federation would also foster closer ties with Chinese-based political parties to overcome problems faced by the Chinese community.
China’s consul general in Kuching Xie Fugen, Temenggong Sim Kian Soon, vice president of the federation Datuk Dominique Hii and secretary-general Kapitan Ko Wai Neng were among those present at the function.
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