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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sarawak state assembly to be dissolved on April 11

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem announced today that the Sarawak state legislative assembly would be dissolved on April 11, paving the way for state-wide election despite not having finalised the BN's candidates list.
"This morning I saw Yang di-Pertua Negeri Abdul Taib Mahmud to request that the state assembly be dissolved as he is the only person who can dissolve it," Adenan told reporters at his office in Kuching today.
"The governor has agreed and the assembly will be dissolved on April 11. Now it is up to the Election Commission (EC) to determine the nomination and polling dates. I have no power to determine the dates," he said.
This will be the first time Adenan, 72, is leading Sarawak BN in the election following Taib's retirement as chief minister after 33 years in power.
A total of 82 state assembly seats are up for grabs in this election, up from 71 in the last state election, which was held on April 16, 2011.
Adenan said he was confident that the state BN would secure victory.
“I am quite confident we will carry the day. The question is not whether who is going to form the next government but how much majority do we have."
Asked on the likelihood of retaining BN's two-thirds majority in the face of the 1MDB scandal, he replied, "God willing, yes."
Adenan said the letter of dissolution has been handed to state speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar, who will notify the EC.
The ruling state government has been facing some internal strife, with former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) chief Wong Soon Koh breaking away to form United People's Party (UPP).
On whether Wong and his deputy Jerip Susil would be forced to resign, Adenan said "the matter would be resolved" before nomination day.
He added that the list of candidates from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and SUPP have yet to be finalised, adding that PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) "has some loose ends to tie up."
Asked about the reported improvement in urban Chinese support, Adenan said: "Very simple. Convert your support for me and vote for BN because what is counted is not your voice but your ballot paper." -Mkini

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