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By Lian Cheng
Following the dissolution of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) on Nov 3 and the constitutional requirement for holding an election within 60 days, Sarawak is now in a pre-election mood with the ruling coalition holding several functions daily and the Opposition parties issuing press statements on an almost daily basis, apart from sporadic press conferences.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, political parties are seen to be moving on the ground but at a much slower pace and smaller scale than the previous Sarawak Election, despite clear indications that it is just around the corner either with many assuming that it will take place within this month or the beginning of the next.
Sarawak, which is the biggest region in Malaysia in terms of size, has in total 82 seats to be contested in the upcoming election.
Ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) held a total of 68 seats, the Opposition 11; Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), one ; independents, one and one seat, Pujut had been vacated since 2017.
Of the 68 seats held by GPS which is made up by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), PBB occupied 47 seats, PRS, 11 ; SUPP, seven and PDP, three.
The seats held by PBB were Tanjung Datu (Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu), Pantai Damai (Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi), Demak Laut (Dr Hazland Bang Hipni), Tupong (Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman), Semariang (Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali), Satok (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg), Asajaya (Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah), Muara Tuang (Datuk Idris Buang), Stakan (Dato Sri Mohamad Ali Mahmud), Serembu (Miro Simuh), Mambong (Datuk Dr Jerip Susil), Tarat (Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn), Tebedu (Dato Sri Michael Manyin), Kedup (Martin Ben), Bukit Semuja (John Ilus), Sadong Jaya (Aidel Lariwoo), Semunjan (Awla Idris), Gedong (Datuk Naroden Majais), Sebuyau (Datu Julaihi Narawi), LIngga (Semoi Peri).
Other PBB’s seats included Beting Maro (Razali Gapor), Saribas (Mohammad Razi Sitam), Layar (Datuk Gerald Rentap Jabu), Bukit Saban (Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas), Kelaka (Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz), Kabong (Mohammad Chee Kadir), Kuala Rajang (Datuk Len Talif Salleh), Semop (Datuk Abdullah Saidol), Daro (Safiee Ahmad), Jemoreng (Datuk Dr Juada Jaya), Pakan (Tan Sri William Mawan), Machan (Allen Siden Gramong), Nangka (Dr Annuar Rapaee), Dalat (Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah), Tellian (Yussibnosh Balo), Balingian (Abdul Yakub Arbi), Katibas (Datuk Ambrose Blikau Enturan), Bukit Goram (Jefferson Jamit Unyat), Jepak (Datuk Talib Zulpilip), Kemena (Dato Sri Stephen Rundi), Bekenu (Rosey Yunus), Lambir (Ripin Lamat), Telang Usan (Dennis Ngau), Mulu (Datuk Gerawat Jala), Bukit Kota (Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail), Batu Danau (Paulus Palu Gumbang) and Bukit Sari (Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan).
PRS held 11 seats after 2016 Sarawak Election. These seats were Balai Ringin (Datuk Snowdan Lawan), Bukit Begunan (Datuk Mong Dagang), Batang Ai (Datuk Malcom Mussen Lamoh), Ngemah (Alexander Vincent), Tamin (Christopher Gira), Kakus (Datuk John Sikie Tayai), Pelagus (Wilson Nyabong Ijang), Belaga (Datuk Liwan Lagang), Murum (Chukpai Kennedy Ugon) and Samalaju (Majang Renggi).
Its president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing who passed away on Oct 31, 2021 held the Baleh seat.
For SUPP, another component party of GPS, the party held seven seats including Batu Kawa (Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian), Batu Kitang (Lo Khere Chiang), Piasau (Datuk Sebastian Ting), Senadin (Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin), Repok (Dato Sri Huang Tiong Sii), Meradong (Datuk Ding Kong Hiing) and Simanggang (Datuk Francis Hardin Hollis).
The three PDP’s seats and its incumbents were Marudi (Datuk Penguang Manggil), Meluan (Rolland Duat) and Tasik Biru (Datuk Henry Harry Jinep).
On the Opposition front, Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak held five seats and they were Pending (Violet Yong), Kota Sentosa (Chong Chieng Jen), Pelawan (David Wong), Bukit Assek (Irene Chang) and Tanjung Batu (Chiew Chew Sing).
DAP Sarawak lost its Pujut seat in 2017 after the Federal Court judged that Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon was disqualified due to possession of dual citizenship.
The seat has remained vacant since then.
PSB which used to be United People’s Party (UPP), a splinter party of SUPP, held six seats including Opar (Ranum Mina), Bawang Assan (Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh), Dudong (Datuk Tiong Thai King), Batu Lintang (See Chee How), Engkilili (Johnichal Rayong) and Ba Kelalan (Baru Bian).
Malayan based party Bersatu held Krian through Datuk Ali Biju, who won the seat in 2016 Sarawak Election under Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) ticket.
Padungan incumbent Wong King Wei who won the seat under DAP Sarawak left the party in 2020 and became the only independent lawmaker in Sarawak. — DayakDaily
Breakdown of Sarawak seats according to parties before dissolution on Nov 3, 2021:
|Party||Number of seats||Total|