KUCHING: Barisan Nasional (BN) will field at least seven new faces in the state in the coming general election.
State BN backbone Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) will have least one new face; Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) (four); Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) (one) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), at least one.
When contacted, PBB secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi confirmed that there would be at least one new face for the party.
“Our candidate list has not been finalised yet. We will do it soon. For now, we can only say that there is at least one new face,” said the Kemena assemblyman and assistant minister of Public utilities.
The new face of PBB is expected to be Rubiah Wang, Asajaya district officer for Kota Samarahan, who will be replacing Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib who resigned in 2010 due to health reason.
Meanwhile SUPP will be putting up the most new faces in its parliamentary election history.
Its president Datuk Seri Peter Chin confirmed that there were four new faces in the candidate list which he had submitted to the top BN leadership.
The new candidates are Tan Kai (Bandar Kuching), Wilfred Yap (Stampin), Datuk Sebastian Ting (Miri) and Temenggong Vincent Lau (Sibu) who was recommended by SUPP Sibu branch chairman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.
The other three seats allocated to SUPP – Serian, Sarikei and Lanang will be defended by incumbents Datuk Richard Riot, Ding Kuong Hiing and Datuk Tiong Thai King respectively.
“These are the proposed candidates and we will leave them for the final approval of BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” Chin told the Borneo Post yesterday.
Meanwhile PRS is confident that its candidate list will be accepted by the BN top leadership.
“There will not be any surprise on PRS candidates for the coming general election. Who knows better than us about who should be the candidates? We will not make a fool of ourselves by choosing unwinnable candidates,” said its president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
The party has confirmed nominating Wilson Ugak Kumbong to replace Datuk Billy Abit Joo in Hulu Rajang.
The rest of PRS seats are expected to be defended by their incumbents namely Masir Kujat (Sri Aman), William Nyallau Badak (Lubok Antu), Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum (Julau), Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (Kanowit) and Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun (Selangau), as announced by Masing.
SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom had announced last year that apart from Mas Gading, the incumbents have been recommended for the rest of the parliamentary seats.
They are Jelaing Mersat (Saratok), Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (Bintulu) and Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan (Baram).
However, rumours on the ground are also rife that Jelaing, a Deputy Transport Minister, might be replaced by a new face despite Mawan’s prior announcement of the party’s proposed candidacy.