"Adenan's Way" Keeps State Election Date A Guessing Game

KUCHING -- While the current Sarawak state assembly's term expires in June 2016, talks of early state election under the leadership of the new Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem is now a hot topic among politicians and political observers in the state.

During a special session with the media in conjunction with his 100 days in office last Friday, the Chief Minister neither ruled out the possibility of an early election nor that he will go for a full term until the current mandate expires in June 2016.

His non-committal and open answer has lead to several media outlet in the state interpret the answer according to their own understanding. One leading local daily said Adenan would go for a full term while others reported of an early state elections.


Nobody can fault Adenan for giving such non-committal answer as no leader would like to tell exactly when the election would be held. They want it to be a surprise.

This is clearly what Adenan said towards the end of the special session with the media when he stated that: "When I will call for the election is a secret".

Political analyst believed Adenan has already made up his mind on the state election.

"He has his own way of doing things, the "Adenan Way". I believe he has already set his target date for election, he is just not telling.

"However, with the latest issue relating to TERAS, I don't think the election will be held anytime soon," said Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) senior lecturer Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi.

Adenan himself admitted that the TERAS issue needs to be resolved beforehand before the state election could be called. He had stated that "it needs to be solved in the next two years" and emphasised on the need to have political stability before they could move on.

TERAS, which claimed to be Barisan Nasional (BN) friendly party has become the focus of the local political scene of late after two groups of elected assemblymen and Parliamentarians, respectively from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) decided to crossover to Teras.

This included SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan who announced that he has quit the party and joined Teras. Four other former SPDP assemblymen Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Sylvester Entrie (Marudi), Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) and Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) - and its Baram Member of Parliament Anyie Ngau followed suit.

Mawan is said to have made the move to avoid a revolt within SPDP led by deputy president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

On the same day Wong Soon Koh, the former deputy secretary-general of SUPP also made known of his intention to quit SUPP and crossover to Teras following internal bickering. He was joined by SUPP's three Dayak assemblymen - Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Ranum Mina (Opar), and Johnical Rayong (Engkilili).

Overnight, Teras, which was registered on Aug 28, 2013 had become the third largest political party in Sarawak after Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and DAP in terms of the number of seats in the state assembly.


Similar views were also expressed by a political analysts and senior lecturer at UNIMAS, Dr Jeniri Amir, as he believed that Adenan has already set his mind on when to call for the election.

"His reluctance to be more open on the matter is merely to encourage people to guess or speculate on the dates. I believe the earliest the election could be called is by the third quarter of 2015. He cannot do it any earlier than the third quarter. As you know, in April, GST (Goods and Services tax will be enforced)," he said.

Therefore, he discounted the notion that Adenan may dissolve the state assembly as early as April 2015, exactly one year after being in office.

"He needs more time to iron out some big problems such as TERAS. Definitely it won't be this year," said Dr Jeniri.

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