While the recent goings-on in the opposition front do not seem to have rattled state leaders much, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Masing appears to be more cautious. Masing warned Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) against ignoring the fact that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had set in motion its political gears to lay siege on the ruling coalition come the next state election.
“The state BN is under siege from Pakatan Rakyat, if not now, it will be when the next state election comes,” said Masing, the Land Development Minister, in a New Year message yesterday. “BN leaders both at the state and federal levels must not under-estimate such threat, and the ever changing political landscapes increase the danger the opposition poses,” he added.
Though he considered this outlook a “grim and dangerous political scenario”, Masing said he was still confident that the BN would withstand the onslaught of Pakatan Rakyat when the day comes.
“Sarawak BN’s concrete development programmes and its past records will become the fortress of its defence in the coming state election. “Sarawak BN must continue, as it has been in the past, to be the government of all races and to all regions in the state. The understanding of these basic principles of governance by the state BN has been its pillars of strength,” he said.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) supreme council had on Christmas Eve announced that their de facto leader as well as that of Pakatan Rakyat, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is the new liaison chief for Sarawak and Sabah.
Anwar has openly declared that the two East Malaysian states are Pakatan’s frontline in its move to topple the BN government in the country. Anwar is expected to strengthen the opposition front in the state in the coming polls. PKR and the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) had not been able to see eye to eye in past polls but with Anwar at the helm, it is likely that the parties would reach a compromise, with PKR focusing on Bumiputera majority seats.
At present, the ruling coalition is represented in 62 out of 71 state seats. PKR now has two assemblymen after Gabriel Adit (Ngemah) joined the party on Nov 5. The Democratic Action Party has six seats, mainly in the urban areas. The next state election is expected to be held in 2010.