KUCHING: Incumbent Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe is leaving it to Barisan Nasional (BN) top leadership to decide whether he should defend his seat in the coming general election.
“It’s up to BN. Of course SPDP (Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party) has to propose their own candidate because I am not with them anymore. That is their right,” he said.
He told The Borneo Post this through short messaging system (SMS) when asked to comment on the remark by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud that he would leave the candidacy for Mas Gading to SPDP.
Taib, who is state BN chairman, told the media in Bintulu on Sunday that he would let SPDP nominate the candidate for Mas Gading for Prime Minister and national BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to endorse.
“Well, what I want to do is to let the prime minister have the privilege of analysing who is the most winnable candidate for Mas Gading,” he was quoted as saying after opening SPDP’s triennial general assembly (TGA).
The statement by Taib was seen by many people, particularly SPDP leaders and members, as a clear indication that BN would be fielding a new face in Mas Gading in the coming election to replace Dr Tiki.
However, there were also others who said that the statement by the chief minister could not be seen as the end for Dr Tiki or whether it was a confirmation that he would not be re-nominated to defend the seat.
They said that Taib stated very clearly that what he wanted to do was to let the prime minister have the privilege of analysing who was the most winnable candidate in Mas Gading.
“This means that the chief minister is also leaving it to the prime minister to decide based on who can deliver the seat to BN. So if the prime minister as national BN chairman finds out that Dr Tiki is the most winnable candidate the chances of him re-nominating the incumbent are still there,” argued a political analyst, adding that Dr Tiki and other members of his group had always pledged their loyalty to BN.
Dr Tiki had stated previously that he would want to defend Mas Gading, with or without SPDP’s consent.
“This is because to PM (prime minister) all seats are equally important. Therefore I don’t think he will drop Dr Tiki if he happens to be the most winnable for Mas Gading,” said the analyst who was apparently in favour of the sacked SPDP leader.