KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 (Bernama) — Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud smiled broadly as he entered the San Choon Hall to attend the Barisan Nasional Convention 2010 at Wisma MCA here today.Throughout the opening ceremony, he smiled broadly as he listened to Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s keynote address, themed ‘Mengukuh Barisan Mendahulu Rakyat’, (Strengthening the Team, Priority for the People).
Some political observers said they had never seen Taib smile so broadly like as if he knew — apart from the focus on Najib’ speech — the spotlight would be on him.
Many are wondering when the Sarawak state assembly would be dissolved to make way for the state election after Taib recently admitted that he had received ‘inspiration’ on the date.
As the state election should be held before July next year, the talk among the inner circles is that there is a possibility the general election and the Sarawak state election might be held simultaneously, as indicated by Taib’s camp.
“It all depends on the prime minister now. As far as we are concerned, we prefer the state and general election to run at the same time,” an insider told Bernama here.
Whether it will be held simultaneously or separately, for the Sarawak BN based leaders, Najib’s speech today augurs well for them in the coming state election as it has reassured the BN spirit among party leaders, members and supporters of BN.
“He has made it clear the relevance of the BN…that it is not a choice between BN or the opposition parties. He spelled out the main difference between
BN and the opposition parties and why the people should realise that the opposition is actually incapable,” said Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member Datuk Alex Nanta Linggi.
Alex Nanta, who is also member of parliament for Kapit, said he was glad that Najib had delivered a convincing speech which he termed as “a breath of fresh air” when Najib openly reminded BN leaders on the four ailments in the BN,
namely delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance.
“Anyone who is asleep would wake up. The speech packs a punch and showed that BN is ready to fight the most important battle of them all,” said Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) assistant secretary Datuk Richard Riot, who is also deputy foreign minister.
However, before BN can face any election, BN leaders will need to focus on image-building, especially on “the four diseases” mentioned by Najib and after the post-convention, on how the delegates could deliver the message to the
“How are they going to reinstate the ties and coordinate all component parties to have a sense of responsibility? How to come out of their comfort zone?
“How they want to base themselves on one goal to build back the support, that is important,” said Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian.
He said, whether the Sarawak and general election would go together or not, would very much depend on whether they are prepared to face the election or not.
Political commentator Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said the impression among political paties was that Najib possessed a strong sense of confidence and was very clear in projecting his strategies for the next general election
He said it was not a problem, should Najib call for election anytime.
“What each component (party) needs to do now is to come out with an action strategy. More 1Malaysia focus. In the next three to six months, once they can make the Blue Shirt (BN colour) truly visible on the ground, they can call for
election to win the hearts of the people,” he said. – BERNAMA