Like many, you are forgiven if making sense of what is happening in the political scene in Sarawak just doesn’t make sense.
Take the case of the Barisan Nasional-friendly Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) who are a splinter of the BN component party – Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).
This odd state of not being in BN and still being BN friendly makes Teras a BN Plus party in Sarawak, a position that has been confirmed by both Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
A BN Plus party means that their seat count during the state election is counted as a BN seat eventhough the party is campaigning under their own emblem and not the iconic BN ‘dacing’ logo.
With assemblypersons in Pakan, Bekenu, Marudi, Tasik Biru and Batu Danau; Teras president, William Mawan, who holds the Pakan seat, said the party was also eyeing three other seats as well as one or two of the 11 new seats to be created under a proposed redileneation of electoral boundaries.
Bold plans for a party created in May of 2014 and which has no urgency to apply to join the BN.
The ace for Willam Mawan is that Bekenu, Marudi and Tasik Biru are held by assistant ministers; with himself being the Minister of Social Development and MP of Saratok. This is the trump card Teras holds against SPDP, come the 11th Sarawak state election. One that has already paid dividends.
The case of the Marudi seat highlights the puzzling form of politics practiced in Sarawak. The incumbent Marudi assemblyman, Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran has finally received the nod from the Chief Minister as the BN candidate for Marudi.
SPDP in turn believes that they have a right to claim the Marudi seat and are adamant to field their candidate – Dato Dr Penguang Manggil despite Adenan’s approval of Entri.
Logically SPDP has more right of claim, due to the fact that they are an official member of BN.
Given the nod
Yet, a BN Plus party has been given the nod – as if Entri is now the BN candidate for Marudi. Adenan is treating Entri as if Entri is a full fledge BN person whereby the truth of the matter is; Teras is not a member of BN eventhough it is friendly towards BN. So under which emblem will Entri stand under?
Technically, SPDP can field their candidate under the BN emblem and Teras under their emblem because regardless of who wins; the seat will be counted as a BN seat. But this will not happen.
What Adenan needs for the coming 11th State Election are winnable candidates. He has not room for trial and error candidates. Securing the biggest win for BN is the paramount focus. It has to do with numbers. And the numbers are all that matter both to Adenan and ultimately to Najib. So the choice of Entri by Adenan has everything to do with the win. You can shelve all the talk about the rakyat and all. What is needed is the win, thus all the BN Plus parties, especially Teras; who have the assembly men in place; will have right of way compared to their formal BN registered friends.
Secure the win. We will deal with the mess later. This is the approach Adenan is taking. And we really have to ask; with all this squabbling – what does the rakyat gain?