Sunday, March 28, 2010

Taib not against holding simultaneous polls

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has not ruled out the possibility that Sarawak state polls may be held simultaneously with parliamentary elections in the future as it is in accordance with the law.

Although under normal circumstances state elections should not be called simply due to popular demand, the state BN chairman said it was up to Prime Minister Najib Razak to calculate if such a move was necessary.

"I can accept that," he said, "but I don't make a sudden move; that's one thing, it's against my trait."

Sarawak is the only state that holds the state election separately, with the current term of the state legislative assembly expiring by July next year.

Asked if he had heard of talks that the coming state poll might be held simultaneously with the general election, Taib said: "I have not come to the stage when we talk about the election yet. No, I am not joking to you."

"I don't know, someone (in the media) wrote that I was trying to recover lost ground," said the chief minister alluding to the BN's performance in the May 2006 state election when it lost nine of 71 seats.

'Najib's popularity is high'

He was speaking to reporters after chairing the Sarawak BN coordination committee meeting at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters at Jalan Bako in Kuching.

He agreed that the popularity of Najib, who would be marking his first year in office on April 3, was high at the moment, clearly a positive prerequisite to call for an early general election should the need arises.

The last general election was held in March 2008.

"I cannot read what the prime minister has in his mind," Taib added.

On the meeting, he said it was to discuss the coordination between members of parliament and assemblymen to ensure effective implementation of rural projects under the RM3.4 billion special federal allocation for Sarawak by 2012.

Elected representatives were also required to provide inputs to the divisional development committees, chaired by the resident of each division, to ensure projects were implemented according to their political need, he said.

- Bernama

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