By Joseph Tawie
KUCHING: With the state elections fast approaching, Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB) is in a big dilemma as its registration has yet to be approved.
“We will still contest as independent candidates in the 71 seats if our party is not registered in time,” said its protem secretary Mohammad Noh Bakri.
“We have told you before that we will contest in 71 seats even as independent candidates. The party has already identified candidates for the elections," he said.
“It is the wish of our members that we contest,” he added, pointing out that the party membership has now reached more than 200,000.
Mohd Noh said that they had made a number of appeals to the Registrar of Societies to speed up the registration.
“But it seems that our appeals have fallen on deaf ears. This is clearly a violation of human rights,” he said without elaborating.
Four-cornered fight possible
With the announcement by PERSB, the state BN is also likely to face Pakatan Rakyat comprising Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sarawak, Sarawak Democratic Action Party, Sarawak National Party and PAS as well as Parti Cinta Malaysia in the state polls.
In several constituencies, there is a possibility of a four-cornered fight, said an observer. He added such a scenario would be a great advantage to the BN.
Meanwhile, Jawatankuasa Penaja Umno Negeri Sarawak (JPUNS) has expressed its interest and intention to contest in the elections.
Formed four years ago, JPUNS has 350 branches throughout the state and has a membership of 70,000.
The group, under the leadership of Affendi Jeman, has been trying to bring Umno into Sarawak.
Their efforts, however, have been condemned by PBB leaders.