By Emma Victoria
ALTHOUGH Gabungan Parti Sarawak, the state ruling coalition, is a partner of the Perikatan Nasional government, it has yet to reach a no-contest or no-overlap agreement with the other Malayan or peninsula-based parties in the PN.
Dr. Oh Ei Sun, Senior Fellow, Singapore Institute of International Affairs said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has viewed the Julau parliamentary seat as their traditional seat since GPS was a continuation of the previous BN Sarawak configuration or spirit.
However, he said, the seat is indicative whether there would be “friendly” matches in the forthcoming general election.
“Even in the upcoming state election, there is no guarantee there would be no overlapping seats between GPS and their federal coalition parties, especially Bersatu and PAS, which had already spread their wings into Sarawak.”
Larry Sng won Julau as an independent candidate in the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018 and joined PKR before being appointed as the state party president. But, he had quit the party to support Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Sng is currently serving the constituency as an independent MP, who is PN-friendly.
Hence, if he were to defend his seat in the GE15, he would be contesting against GPS, which is also a PN-friendly or a PN partner.
Oh said although he was not well versed enough to identify who will be PRS ‘potential candidates’, Sng is likely to retain the seat.
“It won’t be difficult for him to win again as he did so even as an independent,” he said.
Oh also said it would appear that the candidate seen as being best capable to deliver on the developmental socio-economic needs of the constituents would likely win the seat in any rural constituency in Sarawak.
PRS Youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan had recently stressed that PRS has identified several candidates to contest in Julau in the next general election as it is the party’s traditional seat.
On whether Sng can apply to re-join the party, he said, anyone can apply but it is up to the supreme council.
However, it was previously reported that PRS President Tan Sri James Masing had said although he has no problem with Sng joining GPS, the latter cannot return to PRS anymore as the party is now only for Bumiputeras.
“He (Sng) may join other component parties, but not my party or PBB, which is also for Bumiputeras only,” he said.
Sng was previously with PRS, but was sacked by the party in 2007 due to insubordination.