BETONG, 28 March 2009: The Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto for the by-election in the Batang Ai state constituency in Sarawak is likely to be launched on 31 March, BN deputy director of operations for the by-election Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said today.
The manifesto was expected to be launched by the BN director of operations Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, he said when met at the Iban Cultural Seminar 2009, here.
Nomination for the by-election is scheduled for tomorrow in Lubok Antu. Polling is on 7 April.
The BN has named Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, 49, of PRS to contest the seat. He is likely to be opposed by former Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang, 55, of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and perhaps an independent candidate.
Speaking at the seminar, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu anak Numpang said the Iban community, as the majority in Sarawak, should safeguard its traditions and customs which had been in practice for generations to ensure unity and progress.
He said the community should also prepare to accept change by garnering knowledge and skills in order to progress and compete with the other communities.
About 300 people attended the three-day seminar which began today. Sarawak has about 700,000 Ibans.
Meanwhile, Uggah, who is Natural Resources and Environment Minister, said the BN was confident of retaining the Batang Ai seat and with a bigger majority as well.
He said the people of Batang Ai had given their undivided support to the BN and there was no reason for them to reject the coalition.
The constituency has 8,006 voters. The seat fell vacant after the MP and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot died on 24 Feb. — Bernama