BAU, Feb 13 – At the appropriate time, the Sarawak Barisan Nasional will make a suitable decision on the fate of two new state political parties, the United People’s Party (UPP) and Teras (Parti Tenaga Rakyat) which want to join the coalition. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this would also involve the distribution of seats, including the 11 new seats, to them and other state BN component parties.
He was answering questions from the media on the state preparations to face the next state election after a meet-the-people session at the Bau Civic Centre here today. “The state BN is ready to face the election any time. It is always in a constant state of preparedness and is actively tackling issues faced by the people,” he said.
Chief Minister Adenan Satem, who was also present, said UPP and Teras had always been pro-BN “which is very important. On that basis, we can negotiate”. UPP was formed by former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy secretary-general Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh after a leadership crisis in SUPP.
Teras, on the other hand, is led by former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Tan Sri William Mawan, who faced similar problem in SPDP. Both are senior state ministers. Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said what was also important now was to keep on showing that the BN government was people-centric and always fought for their betterment in good times or bad, like facing the recent flood.
“It has always been its policy to help the poor folks,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. He expressed satisfaction with all initiatives taken by Adenan, be they on politics or in his administration. “I have seen the support for the state BN government from the people becoming much stronger and better,” he added.
Earlier in his speech, Muhyiddin said the Sarawak economy had now become stronger with the various initiatives taken by the government to expand its base and attract more foreign investors. “When the Sarawak economy is strong, it will contribute positively to the nation’s economy.”
He pointed out that at the Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu, which is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), more than RM24 billion in foreign investments had been achieved. “This is generating a lot of job and business opportunities. Now, more new industrial areas are coming opening up.
There is also the focus on developing the small medium scale industries to help ordinary folks increase their income,” he said. On the recent flood in the state, Muhyiddin said some 14,996 people from more than 4,000 families had been evacuated. This does not include the 58,107 people from 11,027 families who were affected, but refused to move to the evacuation centres so that they could look after their properties.
Muhyiddin said despite the cut in national budget, the government had allocated some RM40 million in aid to victims nationwide for constructing new homes or repairing those that were partially destroyed. At the function, 20 out of the 81 flood victims in the Bau district received RM500 in flood aid each from the Deputy Prime Minister.