Things are heating up for the next general elections, which is likely to be held in June this year.
I say “likely” because it’s the likeliest date…that the people in Kuching coffeeshops are guessing right now.
The word to watch out for here though is “guessing”.
The calculations of coffeeshop pundits seem to be based on the assumption that the election must be held after Gawai celebrations at the start of June…while avoiding Ramadhan or the Puasa month that will fall in July this year.
So for now, June it is! …until the coffeeshop pundits tell me something new.
Even though we don’t have to hold the 13th General Elections until April next year, that has not stopped any of us from talking about the prospect of the polls being held very, very, very soon.
And it’s not just the coffeeshop pundits spouting all sorts of talk about elections, the politicians and pseudo-politicians are also talking about the imminence of the GE being held in 2012.
Of course, my favourite talk is about politicians jostling to get seats, either to replace the incumbents from their respective parties, or to become the nominees from their respective parties, to bring down the incumbents.
Some of the jostling has already taken place actually, and you can hear about it in the coffeeshops or read about it in blogs or newspapers.
Interestingly, such activities are happening in the opposition camp in Sarawak, particularly in the loose coalition of parties known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
DAP and PKR, who are both part of PR, are staking their claim in the urban seats, where the opposition in Sarawak managed to gain a significant foothold in the Sarawak State Election, which was held last year.
Now of course, naturally the DAP would want to contest in most (if not all) the urban seats in the next General Election. This is perfectly understandable, especially since they won in those Chinese-majority areas in the recent State Election.
However, the problem for the loose coalition now is PKR wants their man/woman to run for some of the urban parliamentary seats, which the DAP has already set its sights on.
So what are the Chinese members in PKR to do? Kowtow to Chinese-majority DAP? Because let’s face it, we’re talking about a Chinese-majority party (DAP) wishing to represent Chinese-majority constituencies.
In the minds of DAP members, PKR must be smoking some pretty strong stuff if it thinks that DAP will give “its seats” away just like that, just because the one asking is from a party led by a former Deputy President of UMNO.
PKR must face the fact that DAP is the big brother opposition party in Sarawak, and as such, it calls the shots…Not PKR. Not Mr Baru Bian.
Most likely it’s the MP for Bandar Kuching, Mr Chong Chieng Jen and his father calling most of the shots in Sarawak’s loose opposition coalition. Who knows?
Maybe I need to spend a bit more time in the coffeeshop to get a clearer picture on that one.
In the meantime, check out what blogger Parochial Sarawakian posted here last month on a similar matter.