NS seats: Pakatan done, BN still uncertain

While Pakatan Rakyat has completed seat distribution and selection of candidates in Negeri Sembilan, Barisan Nasional is still searching for the best solution for all. 

Zefry Dahalan, FMT

SEREMBAN: Today is the last day of Negeri Sembilan’s 12th State Legislative Assembly term. Starting tomorrow, the state will be under a caretaker government prior to the state election to be held within the next 60 days.

With the automatic dissolution of the state assembly, the focus now has shifted to the all- important state polls. How will the votes go? Who will form the next state government? Will the opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat, make tangible inroads in the land of the Minangkabau? Will the state get a new menteri besar?

All these questions would be answered only after voters of Negeri Sembilan cast their ballots. But before this, both sides of the political divide need to put up “winnable” candidates. The candidates picked would do battle on the front line. They will be the ones carrying the torch of their respective parties in battle.

The talk on the ground here is that both sides of the political divide are eagerly awaiting the Election Commission (EC) to announce nomination and election dates. Their preparation for the polls is almost complete minus a few issues which need to be ironed out.

An interesting subject discussed by both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan supporters is seat allocation: who will be dropped as a candidate, who will remain and who are the new ones to replace those dropped.

On the seat allocation, sources said Pakatan has finalised its seat distribution among its three component parties – DAP, PAS and PKR.

Compared to the seats allocated in 2008, sources said PKR will contest an extra seat courtesy of PAS. At the last state assembly election, which was held simultaneously with the general election, PAS contested in 13 seats, PKR (12) and DAP (11).

But seat swapping among PAS and PKR has resulted in PAS contesting 12 seats and PKR 13 seats this time around.

Pakatan’s list

As for the parliamentary seats, PKR contested three (Telok Kemang, Rembau and Kuala Pilah), PAS three (Jempol, Jelebu and Tampin) and DAP two (Seremban and Rasah).

Although the Pakatan leadership is yet to officially announce its list of candidates for the state polls, most of its supporters know which component party will contest which seat.

The status quo for Pakatan parliamentary seats in Negeri Sembilan remains unchanged. From the eight parliamentaty seats in the state, Pakatan won three – Telok Kemang (PKR), Seremban and Rasah (both DAP).

PAS has given up two seats – Gemas and Sri Menanti – in exchange for the Labu state constituency with PKR.

In the final count, PKR will contest the Port Dickson, Chuah and Linggi state seats (under the Telok Kemang parliamentary constituency), Ampangan and Sikamat (Seremban); Rantau (Rembau), Gemas (Tampin), Palong and Jeram Padang (Jempol), Pertang (Jelebu); Sri Menanti, Pilah and Juasseh (Kuala Pilah).

In 2008, PKR won the Port Dickson, Chuah, Ampangan and Sikamat state seats.

PAS, on the other hand, will contest the Paroi, Chembong and Kota state seats (in the Rembau parliamentary constituency), Gemencheh (Tampin), Serting (Jempol), Sungai Lui and Klawang (Jelebu), Senaling and Johol (Kuala Pilah), Lenggeng (Seremban), Labu (Rasah) and Bagan Pinang (Telok Kemang).

PAS only managed to win in Paroi in the 2008 election.

Meanwhile, DAP would contest the Lobak, Temiang and Nilai state seats (in the Seremban parliamentary constituency), Senawang, Bukit Kepayang, Mambau and Rahang (Rasah), Lukut (Telok Kemang), Repah (Tampin), Chennah (Jelebu) and Bahau (Jempol).

The party won all its seats at the last election except Chennah.

While Pakatan seems to have finalised its candidates’ list and seat allocation among component parties, the same cannot be said of Barisan Nasional.