Political observers predict CM will dissolve assembly on March 31, April 7 or April 11 to pave way for state election
KUCHING: Speculation is rife the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) will be dissolved on April 11, a Monday.
However, some political pundits believed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem might make the long-awaited announcement on April 7, as the digit ‘7’ is his favourite number.
According to sources, Adenan’s mobile phone number has four 7’s. But some believed it could be this Thursday (March 31). When contacted, Unimas’ Associate Professor of Political Communications, Dr Jeniri Amir, strongly believed DUN would be dissolved on April 11.
“My prediction that nomination will be on April 18 and polling on April 30 was spot on. However, he (Adenan) needed to make some amendments because he did not want the Election Commission (EC) to be perceived to be within his grip,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
“My new take is this: polling will be on May 7 or 14, both Saturdays. As for nomination day, it will fall two weeks before these two days.” Jeniri said if polling was on May 7, then nomination would be on April 23. If polling was on May 14, then nomination would be on April 30. As for the number of seats that the BN could win, Jeniri said there were 60 safe seats and 22 grey ones.
He, however, was quick to add that from previous experiences and analysis, the BN should be able to counter these grey areas during the campaigning period.
“They (BN) have the ability to neutralise negative elements, what with their good track record with delivery under the politics of development and the present policy of rural transformation, where RM1 billion has been allocated for the purpose.
“So, Adenan’s target of 70 seats is realistic and achievable.”
Meanwhile, the Walikota of Samarahan, Datuk Peter Minos, believed DUN would be dissolved this Thursday (March 31).
Minos said the date was his guess as in meetings with PBB workers and supporters in Lundu area about a week ago, Adenan did mention the dissolution date was near and would be within days after the meeting.
“I base my guess on what he told PBB members. As the meeting was held a week ago, I believe March 31 will be the most likely date.” Minos’ speculation does have some merits as the State Cabinet would be meeting on March 31. It has been the usual practice for the chief minister to pay a courtesy call on the Yang di-Pertua Negri (TYT) before chairing the cabinet meeting.
It is possible Adenan might consult Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on the dissolution date before chairing the cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) completed all the necessary preparations and trainings for its returning officers and supporting staff for the 82 seats in February.
“We are now 100 per cent ready for the state election. It is now up to the chief minister to advise the TYT to dissolve DUN. Thereafter, we will decide the date of nomination and polling,” said state EC director Datu Takun Sunggah.
He revealed that this time around, the EC had been allocated RM135 million because of the increasing cost of goods and services.
“That (allocation) is very much less than the budget we proposed. However, we will make do with what we have. If it is not enough, we will ask for some more. The large chunk of the budget goes to transport, especially rental of helicopters for rural constituencies,” said Takun.