Friday, 26 April 2013

White, black and shades of grey

WEIGHING THE ODDS: Minos (centre left) speaking at the media briefing. On his left is Dato Idris Buang.
Dato Peter Minos

BN facing daunting odds in Kuching, expects tough battles in 10 other seats

KUCHING: The state Barisan Nasional (BN) has categorised the state’s 31 parliamentary seats into ‘black’, ‘dark grey’, ‘white grey’ and ‘white’ areas.

White is for safe seats, black for areas where the coalition faces overwhelming odds, dark grey for seats where it faces very strong opposition while constituencies where there are opposit ion candidates capable of causing an upset are white grey.

State BN secretariat spokesman Dato Peter Minos in revealing the ratings of the seats at a media briefing at PBB headquarters here yesterday said only Bandar Kuching, where voters seemed to have made up their mind, had been graded black.

He added that five constituencies listed as dark were Stampin, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri while another five seats – Mas Gading, Saratok, Lubok Antu, Selangau and Hulu Rajang – were considered white grey.

Despite the rating, Minos who is state BN deputy information chief said with concerted efforts in the grey areas, BN was confident of winning at least 25 seats in the polls.

He pointed out that the situation in these areas was still very fluid and with 10 more days to go before the polling date the odds could swing either way.

“It ’s too early to make an accurate assessment on these ‘dark grey’ and ‘white grey’ areas now as we still have 10 days to go before polling.” On the chances of each BN component party, Minos said the 14 seats allocated to PBB were considered secure due to the party’s strong discipline and leadership.

As for SUPP which has been al located seven seat s, only Serian is considered ‘white’ as the constituency is a Bidayuh majority area.

“The Bidayuhs have been very supportive of the BN so Serian is considered a safe seat.

“But for the other six urban seats, the vast majority of voters have more or less made up their minds on who to vote for as shown by the 2011 state election results,” said Minos.

In the last state election, SUPP lost 13 of the 19 seats it contested.

As for PRS which is contesting in six seats, Minos said the party was facing formidable opposition from SWP candidates as they were formerly from the same party.

“And with considerable resources, SWP led by the Sng family could cause an upset in Lubok Antu, Hulu Rajang and Selangau,” said Minos.

In Lubok Antu, BN incumbent William Nyallau Badak is facing SWP president Larry Sng. In Selangau, Larry’s father Dato Sng Chee Hua is challenging incumbent Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun and PKR’s Joseph Joshua Jabeng. In Hulu Rajang, Wilson Ugak Kumbong is facing SWP deputy president and Pelagus assemblyman George Lagong.

As for SPDP which has four seats to fight for, it is facing strong challenges from PKR as well as their former members.

Mas Gading has been identified as the toughest for SPDP where incumbent Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, a former senior official of SPDP, is standing as an independent candidate against newcomer Anthony Nogeh.

In Saratok and Baram, BN-SPDP candidates Tan Sri William Mawan and Anyi Ngau respectively could be undermined by the undercurrent of resentment from supporters of the incumbents who had
been dropped in their fight against PKR and independent candidates.

“In Saratok, we hoped Tan Sri William Mawan can win against strong PKR candidate Ali Biju who has been rumoured to receive support from incumbent Jelaing Mersat,” said Minos.

Anyi who is making his debut in the election has to deal with issues on NCR land as the Baram Dam is being played up by the opposition in Baram.

“But being a new face, Anyi Ngau may pull through as he is seen as not being a party to any of the issues,” said Minos. - theborneopost

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