MIRI: The first night of official campaigning for the state elections saw political opponents clearly drawing up their battle strategies.
In Miri City, Barisan Nasional and the Barisan direct candidate will be focusing on local issues and the need to safeguard the interest of Sarawakians by returning a stronger Barisan to power come May 7.
The Opposition parties, especially DAP, on the other hand, will be banking on national issues like the Good and Services Tax to sway voters.
PAS, meanwhile, will attempt to secure votes especially from the kampung population by highlighting very basic social and economic problems.
Miri is a key economic hub for the state and country, contributing to the countryâ€™s revenue through petroleum, timber, plantations and ship building.
On Monday night, Mirians saw ceramahs held at various locations.
The DAP leaders went into the city centre on their Ubah truck and held a ceramah at Centrepoint commercial centre.
Datuk Lee Kim Shin, the BN-SUPP candidate for Senadin and the incumbent assemblyman, was in his constituency for numerous functions and meet-the-people sessions.
Lee won the seat by 59 votes in the 2011 state election.
The public turnout for both candidatse was moderate and indicated that people in Miri need time to get into the election mood.
Aside from ceramahs, election campaign workers also used door-to-door visits and small gatherings to reach out to voters.
Sarawak United Peoples Party secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting who is the Barisan candidate for Piasau, prefers this approach.
Ting is facing Sarawak DAP secretary Alan Ling who is the incumbent Piasau assemblyman in a straight fight.
Of three Miri state seats of Senadin, Piasau and Pujut, Barisan controls Senadin while DAPâ€™s Ling will defend Piasau.
In Pujut, Fong Pau Teck won under DAP ticket in the 2011 state polls but he has since been sacked from the party due to internal issues.
He is now partyless and an independent contestant.