The campaign is now on full swing and the whole by-election is sizzling hot on the run-up to the polling day on April 7.
This by-election is pretty eye-catching and any twist of it is nerve-racking. You may call it a normal casting of votes to elect a new ADUN and what is there so much to trumpet about.
But, in reality, this by-election is really a watershed politically for both state BN and Sarawak PR in that a win or loss has dire implications for both fronts.
For PR,a victory means building up a foothold for the opposition front, especially in native areas, to make further inroads into Sarawak with an eventual aim to bring about "a change of sky" in this eastern state. A defeat, on the other hand, would be a setback for DSAI in his political ambitions.
BN is therefore on an all-out effort to fend off the threat from PR and to dissipate Anwar's syndrome. In any event, state BN would not give PR the slightest of a chance to dip its finger into the state's politics.
As such, it was a bombshell when SNAP's deputy president Mr. Ting Lian Kiew announced through a press release yesterday that the party (SNAP) would back out of Sarawak PR and, instead, back up BN in the coming by-election in Batang Ai.
Ting's back-out and back-up rhetoric at such a crucial moment when the whole of Batang Ai is practically filled with election fever was tricky. Was the stand his personal one or the party's?
I called up Mr. Johnny Wong, SNAP's vice-president, for clarification on the explosive statement by Ting Lian Kiew. Calling Lian Kiew's backing out rhetoric as purely personal one, Johnny Wong assured political watchers that the party would come out with an official statement on its stand.
Longboat is an essential means of transport in Batang Ai. Photo: Steve Ling