KUCHING • Sarawak will go to the polls on May 7, Election Commission chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah announced yesterday.
The election is widely expected to deliver a boost for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition at a time when its popularity is waning in peninsular Malaysia.
The nation's largest state has long been a BN stronghold and the coalition is expected to romp to victory because of Chief Minister Adenan Satem's popularity among voters.
A BN victory in Sarawak would also help to solidify Prime Minister Najib Razak's position as the coalition's leader following the financial scandal surrounding state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Candidate nominations have been fixed for April 25 while May 3 has been set for early voting.
Speaking to reporters at the Merdeka Palace Hotel here, Datuk Seri Hashim said there were 1,138,650 eligible voters in 82 state seats.
A survey by independent pollster the Merdeka Centre found that 74 per cent of respondents were satisfied with Tan Sri Adenan's performance since he took over as chief minister from the controversial Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.
A win in Sarawak would be a boost for BN at a time when support for the government among Malay voters is at its lowest. Last October, the Merdeka Centre told a private briefing for financial analysts that support among Malays had dipped to 31 per cent.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK