Sunday, August 14, 2022

New alignment in the BN after the 11th State Election

Secara Rawak

The just concluded 11th Sarawak State election has created a new political alignment in the state. PBB is getting bigger and stronger, while its main coalition partner, the SUPP is getting smaller and weaker.

When the opposition SUPP formed a coalition government with PBB (then Parti Bumiputera) in 1970, the party accounted for 9 of the 21 government seats. Now PBB has 49 seats, while SUPP has only 7 seats.

While the Malay/Melanau have always been solidly behind PBB, the Chinese have not always been with the SUPP lately.

While PBB has successfully maintained its grip on its traditional supporters, SUPP has found it difficult to convince its traditional supporters to continue to trust it.

There is a strong feeling of aversion among the Chinese towards the SUPP. This disapproval culminated in a complete demise of the party in the 13 Chinese majority constituencies in the 10th Sarawak State election held in April 2011.

The power struggle that ensued within the party after that election had led to the formation of a splinter group in UPP.

But with 3 of its 5 elected members contemplating joining PBB, UPP is also struggling to remain relevant.

Before the Delineation Exercise

Before the delineation exercise, PBB had 35 (49.3%) of the 71 seats, while SUPP/UPP had 19 (26.8%), PRS had 9 (12.7%), and SPDP/Teras had 8 (11.3%).

After the delineation exercise, PBB is allocated 40 (48.8%) of the 82 seats. In comparison, SUPP is only allocated 13 (15.8%) seats, and its splinter party, the UPP, is given 7 (8.5%). The other 22 seats are assigned to PRS 11 seats (or 13.4%), to SPDP/Teras 8 (9.6%) seats, and to direct candidates 3 (3.7%).

As all the 9 Bumiputera direct candidates have applied to join PPB, the party now has 49 (59.8%) seats, compared to 7 (8.5%) for SUPP and 2 (2.4%) for UPP, 11 (13.4%) for PRS, and 5 (6.1%) for SPDP.

New Seats

Of the 11 new seats, 4 (36.4%) are given to the Malay/Melanau group, 2 (18.1%) to the Iban, 2 (18.1%) to the Bidayuh, 2 (18.1%) to the Orang Ulu, and 1 (9.1%) to the Chinese.

All the new Malay/Melanau seats are taken by PBB, while of the 2 Iban new seats, 1 is given to PBB and the other 1 to PRS.

SPDP, the other component party of the BN is not given any new seat at all. SPDP contested in all of its 5 seats, but only manged to win in 3 of them, losing in Bekalan and Krian to PKR.

The number of PBB Iban seats has now increased to 8 from 5, while that of the Bidayuh to 7 from 3, and that of the Orang Ulu to 3 from 1..

Meanwhile, the Malay/Melanau seats in PBB have increased by 5 seats from 26 to 31.

Composition of PBB DUN Members

Before the election, the composition of the PBB elected members is Malay 26 (74.3%), Iban 5 (14.3%), Bidayuh 3 (8.6%), and Orang Ulu 1 (2.9%).

After the election the composition is Malay 31 (63.3%), Iban 8 (16.3%) Bidayuh 7 (14.3%), and Orang Ulu 3 (6.1%).

Overall, the Dayaks in PBB have 18 seats (36.7%), compared to 9 (25.7%) previously.

SPDP with its 3 elected members is a very small party indeed. Can a small party like SPDP continue to survive? Can it become relevant with just 3 elected members?

If SPDP happens to become de-registered, it is without any doubt that all its 3 elected members, and all its supporters in Krian and Bekelalan will seek to join PBB.

This will increase the number of PBB seats to 54 or 66% of the state seats. With this number, PBB, not only can administer Sarawak alone, but it also has a two-thirds majority. –

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