KUCHING, 25 Feb 2009: The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) will assist the Barisan Nasional (BN) election machinery to retain the Batang Ai state constituency in the upcoming by-election following the death of assemblyperson Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot.
SUPP president and Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said today the state’s second largest BN component party would do whatever it could to help the BN campaign woo the 8,061 voters in the constituency.
“We will try our very best to help our component party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), to defend Batang Ai,” he told reporters after receiving a mock cheque for RM20,000 for flood victims from the Sarawak Badan Amal Tenaga Isteri-Isteri.
Dublin, an assemblyperson since 1991, won the predominantly Iban seat in the state election in 2006 after defeating Nicholas Bawin Anggat of the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) with a 806-vote majority on a BN-PRS ticket.
On the BN’s chances of retaining the seat in view of the opposition’s attempts to make inroads by harping on the native customary rights (NCR) land issue, Dr Chan said the people’s support was still strong as the government was trying its best to settle such cases.
He said the government would explain its development policies pertaining to NCR land and other land issues, besides explaining its capacity and limitations to fulfil the people’s expectation.
Dublin, who was PRS vice-president and state assistant minister for sports and agriculture, died at the Normah Medical Specialist Centre here after suffering from a stroke, which left him in a coma for the past nine months.
The Election Commission will meet next Wednesday to discuss the by-election date for Batang Ai, one of two state seats in the Lubuk parliamentary constituency. — Bernama