by Sebanaku Sarawak
KUCHING: Sometime in January this year, Datuk M. Kayveas' face was beaming with confidence when he officiating the party's membership drive campaign at Rajah Court.
At that time, he was confident that he would not fail in his 'already-lost-count' latest attempt to officially set up a PPP branch in the Land of Hornbill.
The local leaders were whispering magic numbers to his ears before the day he flew to Kuching to officiate the launching.
Every night he had the same dream of seeing his men were in control of the government with him pulling the strings from KL.
When his boy Datuk Nik Sapeia Nik Yusof said in his speech during the launching of the membership drive that one day PPP would be part of the ruling party in Sarawak, he could be seen as having a big smile on his face.
Everybody inside the function hall was excited. The dream to be at the corridor of power will be a reality soon.
The strategy was get 100,000 members, then the door to power would automaticaly open by itself.
To the political pundits, PPP was being ridiculous by aiming to get the magic figure.
Some of them pointed out that even SPDP only has about 80,000 members.
But Datuk M. Kayveas didn't want to listen to the sceptics.
He believed that he could do a miracle in Sarawak with the help of the local leaders who never failed to tell him good stories about the bright future of PPP in Sarawak.
At that time, the party had less than 9,000 members, i.e. about 8,600 members.
And it had applied to the Registrar of Society to open up about 20 branches in Sarawak.
About a month later the party disclosed that they had more application forms to set up branches which they would submit to the Registrar of Society soon.
With thesese new application forms, the total branches which were waiting for the approval were slightly more than 40!
However, barely two months after the launching of the membership drive, Kayveas didn't seem to be excited as he was before.
May be the political reality of Sarawak had sunk into his brain.
After attending an official opening of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) convention in the BCCCK in early March, the former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department looked as if he had seen a ghost.
May be he was surprised by the kind of support shown by the party members to their president Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud during the function.
Or may be the Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had given him his piece of mind on PPP's dream to establish itself in Sarawak before he came to Kuching to attend the PBB function.
If in January he was confident of getting 100,000 members by June this year, now he had a more reasonable figure in his mind.
He gave an ultimum to his PPP leaders in Sarawak - give him at least 30,000 members by June, or just forget the whole idea.
Fast forward to May, it seems that Kayveas will be frustrated again because he has been trying to get PPP into Sarawak since in the 90's.
With only few days to go before the month of June, the party only manage to get less than 20,000 members!!!
Now the party leaders are having headache on how to do damage control on the party's image.
Earlier they said would easily get 100,000 members and now they are only getting less than 20% of the target figure.
Initially they thought that they could use the Sibu parliamentary by-election to coax the state BN to open up the door for them because they knew that Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) was in need of any assistance it could get.
But to their dismay, the state BN just ignored them as well as their 5,000 supporters in the Sibu parliamentary constituency.
As it is now, the PPP leaders have to come up with a creative idea on how to do face saving for the party as well as its leaders.
May be the best alternative is to announce that it has decided not to join the State BN and be an independent BN party in Sarawak.
At least the press would not be chasing after them and ask them about the membership drive and the plan to join the State BN.
It would be quite embarrassing for all PPP members to reveal to all Sarawakians that the response is very poor.