Difficult for PSB to win Chinese majority seats, says analyst

IT will be difficult for Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) to win Chinese-majority seats in the next state election, especially if it goes against DAP, according to a political analyst.

National Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said this is because DAP is still the dominant party in urban areas.

Jeniri told FMT that there was no way for PSB to beat DAP except probably for seats in Sibu, where PSB president Wong Soon Koh is influential.

He was commenting on Wong’s recent statement that PSB wanted to be seen as an alternative to the ruling GPS coalition in the 16 Chinese-majority state constituencies.

The seats are Meradong, Bukit Assek, Pending, Kota Sentosa, Padungan, Dudong, Bawang Assan, Batu Lintang, Batu Kitang, Repok, Batu Kawa, Pelawan, Piasau, Tanjong Batu, Senadin and Pujut.

“DAP has a strong personality and effective grassroots machinery compared with PSB, which is relatively new,” Jeniri said.

He also said it would be “problematic” if the two parties decided to collaborate because there would be issues of seat distribution.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs noted that there had been rumours over the past two years of PSB and DAP working together for the state polls.

He said two formulas could be applied, the first of which would involve what he called “friendly contests” in which both parties would field candidates to split votes. But in such a scenario, SUPP would benefit.

He said the two parties could win many seats if they were to use the other formula, which would be for each party to field candidates in constituencies in which it was stronger than the other.

“PSB could also be strong in some of the Bumiputera seats because Baru Bian is in the party,” he said, adding that this meant having less of an overlap with DAP as the latter would traditionally contest in few non-Chinese seats. – Free Malaysia Today