PBB to field several new faces in 13th GE, including in Kota Samarahan


KUCHING: Kota Samarahan Member of Parliament Dato Sri Sulaiman Taib and a few more MPs from PBB, the backbone of the state BN coalition, wouldn’t be contesting in the next general election.

The party’s senior vice-president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, who revealed this yesterday, only mentioned Sulaiman’s name but veiled the others.

“There will certainly be some changes to our candidate line-up in the next general election…where there will be a few new faces. Assessment is being done continually and things will be finalised when the time is right,” he told reporters after flagging off the ‘Police Community Programme’ convoy here yesterday.

He said Sulaiman, who was fielded in Kota Samarahan in the 12th general election in 2008 to replace his father Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, had indicated that he would not be seeking re-election.

On the 13th general election, which Pakatan Rakyat soothsayers believe would be called this coming November even though it is only due in May 2013, Awang Tengah said PBB was ready to face the election anytime.

“For us in Sarawak we had just held our state election so it is just a matter of re-activating our machinery. We are in a state of (readiness) all the time and are prepared any time the general election is called.”

Asked whether SUPP would be able to make a comeback after its devastating loss in the April 16 state polls, Awang Tengah, who is also Second Planning and Resource Management Minister, replied: “That you got to ask SUPP”.

In the recently concluded state polls, SUPP contested in 19 constituencies but lost in 13 of them. Of the six seats it managed to win only two were in predominantly Chinese areas.

In the last general election in March 2008, the state BN won 30 of the 31 seats at stake. It lost Bandar Kuching to Chong Chieng Jen of the DAP. But last year, Richard Wong Ho Leng of the DAP wrested Sibu from SUPP in a by-election which was called following the demise of Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew to illness.

Of the 29 parliamentary seats in BN’s hands, PBB has 14 of them, PRS (6), SUPP (5) and SPDP (4).