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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 7: Election fever has hit Kuching with thousands of flags, posters and billboards of contesting parties sprouting like mushrooms after the rain across the city overnight as campaigning gets underway for the 12th Sarawak Election.
The war of flags between Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) have somewhat enliven the election atmosphere despite restrictions on public gatherings and physical campaigning in urban constituencies this time around.
Checks by DayakDaily found flags waving and billboards staring as they try to vie for voters’ attention in many strategic areas including roundabouts, traffic lights, along major thoroughfares, road junctions, commercial areas as well as neighbourhoods.
The 3rd Mile and Hui Sing roundabouts are among areas plastered with campaign materials in white, yellow, orange, red and a hint of blue.
GPS whose component parties comprise Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) is using the coalition’s white-coloured flag with a flying hornbill.
All the opposition parties are using their respective party flags with DAP’s rocket, PKR’s crescent moon, PSB’s Sarawak map with rising sun and PBK’s more detailed “kenyalang”.
However, the flags or other campaign materials of Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) and Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) were less visible and seemed outnumbered by other parties.
With 11 days to go until Sarawakians go to the polls, the 12th Sarawak Election will see 349 candidates from 10 political parties vying for 82 State seats.
At the conclusion of nominations yesterday, there were no seats won uncontested and almost all seats saw multi-cornered fights with Dudong the most contested seat with eight challengers including Dato Sri Tiong King Sing of GPS.
GPS has fielded 82 candidates followed by PBK (72), PSB (70), PKR (28), DAP (26), Aspirasi (15), Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) (11), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) (8), Parti Sedar Rakyat Sarawak (Sedar) (5) and one from Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). There are also 30 independent candidates contesting. — DayakDaily