KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday said he has already received an inspiration on when to call for the next state election.
“I have the inspiration but I won’t tell you (the date),” he told reporters at the Hornbill Skywards Hanger here yesterday upon his return from pilgrimage in Mecca.
Among those present to welcome him at the Hornbill Skyways Hanger here yesterday were members of the State Cabinet, senior government officials and family members.
According to Taib, who i s also Sarawak Barisan Nasional Chairman, the state election could be held in any of the 12 months in the year and that it was a matter of preparing the election machinery.
“That is all I can tell you (reporters),” he quipped.
Political observers have predicted that the state election would be held next month at the earliest and by March or April next year at the latest. The current term of the Sarawak legislative assembly expires in July next year.
Sarawak BN has 62 seats in the 71-seat assembly, with 32 held by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), 11 by Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), nine by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and eight by Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).
Asked by the media to comment on the Barisan Nasional direct membership which was announced by Prime Minister a few days ago, and how he felt about it, Taib said he had no objection.
“When you are faced with a situation when a lot of people want to support the BN but find it probably not certain as to which slot they want to go into, I think we should allow these people to openly express their support to Barisan Nasional. Direct membership is like that. I think it is a good idea.” On the future of Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Larry Sng, who is now partyless, Taib said: “Well, it is up to him to decide. Many people who are loyal to BN but want to stay above some party squabbles or something like that, well they can do that, they can still support us (BN)”.
Asked what he meant by ‘it is up to Larry Sng to decide’, the Chief Minister said, “Well, if you want to become a direct BN member, then you must apply, right?”.
When pointed out that Sng was still in BN, Taib said, “Yeah, but his status is not very clear, so he can go for direct BN membership, and he can apply and can ask the BN headquarters in Kuala Lumpur”.
Asked if the state BN would accept him (Sng) he said: “Well, if you want to support us, why should we reject you?” On his pilgrimage to Mecca, the Chief Minister said: ”It’s very good, and with the greatest change of the state of mind, I have, instead of being surrounded by a lot of work and all that, completely thinking about religion, it is very nice, giving me a calm and peaceful feeling,” Taib said