By RINTOS MAIL email@example.com
KUCHING: The list of potential candidates to replace Kota Samarahan MP Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Taib has been narrowed down to three from at least five previously.
The three are businessmen Hamzah Ibrahim and Ismawi Mohamad and Asajaya district officer Rubiah Wang.
Except for Rubiah, both Hamzah and Ismawi are PBB members. Hamzah, who is also formerly a PBB Youth exco, is currently Muara Tuang PBB deputy chief while Ismawi is PBB Kpg Baru, Kota Samarahan deputy youth chief.
Sources close to PBB said Hamzah and Ismawi’s names were recommended by two different groups in the party. All three are locals with Rubiah from Kampung Tanjong Parang in Kota Samarahan.
The source said the party was expected to have a tough time to pick who among the three to be the candidate.
According to the source, the party’s top leadership is keen on fielding a woman candidate but the majority of its grassroots members want a male candidate.
Previously, at least five names were mentioned to replace Sulaiman, who has informed the party he was not keen to seek a re-election.
Earlier, Chief Minister and PBB president Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s eldest son Datuk Seri Mahmud Bekir’s name was also bandied about to be a potential candidate. Mahmud, who is Cahaya Mata Sarawak (CMS) deputy chairman, is an older brother of Sulaiman.
A group of PBB supporters had even bore banners and placards calling for Bekir to be fielded.
Bekir, however, was said to be not interested in politics.
Sources also said that Taib was keen to field a woman candidate to increase the party’s present number of three woman MPs. The three are Rohani Abdul Karim (Batang Lupar), Nancy Shukri (Batang Sadong) and Norah Abdul Rahman (Tanjung Manis).
Meanwhile, Asajaya assemblyman Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah when asked to comment on the speculation said “Barisan had a list of many very capable candidates to choose from to contest in Kota Samarahan”.
“I believe the chosen candidate is going to be someone who is known to the local, close to the ground and knows Samarahan well.
“He or she should not have problem in delivering the seat with a good majority. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but Pakatan Rakyat can forget about Kota Samarahan as it is just a waste of their money and time,” he added.