Sarawak 9th State Election
The Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister of Sarawak announced the dissolution of the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Sarawak today at 8:15 a.m at the Kuching International Airport while he was on the way to Sibu for the official opening ceremony of the Lanang Bridge. This paves the way for the Ninth Sarawak State Election which would be held in May 2006 (awaiting announcement). It also means that the Yang Berhormats you meet in the street right now are currently not really Yang Berhormats - upon the signing of the announcement by the Governor. You can take them to the kopitiam and tell them your issues as they would be asking for our votes at that time.
The operation rooms are going into full gear, be it at the Government Departments and the Political Parties Headquarters. The latest list is being updated. It will be all systems go and I will update this blog to guide friends and readers on how the election process is in the State especially as my role as the Presiding Officer or Ketua Tempat Mengundi (KTM) in the Padungan area where Yang Berhormat Puan Lily Yong is contesting.
My polling station will be at Saint Thomas Secondary School, Kuching whereby I will be taking charge of four to five streams. The next step now is to wait for the instructions from our Returning Officer. Tonight there will be a lot of reading of the ordinances, procedures and rules of elections (for updating purposes). Now we would have to wait for the Election Commission to makea statement. While concentrating on my area, I hope that I do not get distracted by the other issues.
The three Iban leaders in the Barisan - can they deliver?
I would not forsee any serious problems with the PBB (Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) leader but what I am am not sure is the teamwork between SPDP (Sarawak Democratic Party) and PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak). Hopefully they will shine in the coming election as this will test the people's acceptance to the new parties - bearing in mind the two parties are offsprings of the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and the Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS). With the entry of the Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) into the fray, this looks set to be an exciting election as people are expecting this to be the transitional government set up should our present Chief Minister chooses to retire sometimes in the next five years. Given the State's nine new constituencies in the State, parties are expected to put up new faces and there are a few aspiring Yang Berhormats to be....... it could be your relatives, friend, neighbour..... let's hold our breath and find out :)
Excerpts from Bernama 24 Apr 2006(Updated)
Sarawak Elections Set For May 20, Nomination On May 9
Election Commission (EC) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman at a press conference to announce nomination and polling dates for the ninth Sarawak State Legislative Assembly elections. The nomination day is set on May 9 while polling day is on May 20. Pix: Hairul
KUCHING, April 24 (Bernama) -- The Election Commission (EC) announced Monday that the nomination day for the ninth Sarawak State Legislative Assembly elections is on May 9 while polling day May 20.
The election writ would be issued on April 27 and the election notice on April 28, EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman told a press conference aired live by RTM after chairing the Election Panel meeting here.
He said the number of voters gazetted on March 16, 2006 and updated on March 24, 2006 was 892,537 and of those, 14,727 were postal voters.
He made the announcement at 11.30 am, about three hours after Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud announced the dissolution of the state assembly.
Abdul Rashid said the 11-day campaign period from May 9 to midnight of May 19, was set after taking into account the geographical factor and the big number of state seats, namely 71 compared to 62 in the 2001 state elections.
The EC had taken into consideration the communication and transportation problems as well as the geography and demography of Sarawak to ensure the election process run smoothly, orderly and perfectly, he said.
"The EC has to give reasonable space and time for all parties participating in the elections in view of the conditions stated," he said.
The campaign period in the 2001 state elections was nine days.
Abdul Rashid advised all parties not to breach campaign regulations especially the prohibition against campaigning and putting up posters or other campaign materials before the nomination process on May 9 had been completed.
He also said police permits would be required for all forms of campaigns involving the holding of assemblies and use of public premises.
This was to ensure peace and public order, he said.
Abdul Rashid said the deposit for candidates would be RM5,000 while that for campaign materials RM3,000.
He said candidates representing political parties registered with the Registrar of Societies could use their party symbols that had been registered with the EC while independent candidates could use any symbol provided by the EC.
He hoped the print and electronic media would play an active role in encouraging voters to cast their votes.
"Hopefully, the media can also give fair and balance coverage to all candidates and parties taking part in the elections this time," he said.
Good Luck to all parties, candidates and parties.