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BN candidate for Batang Ai to be known on Saturday

KUCHING, 11 March 2009: The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Batang Ai state by-election will be known by Saturday, 14 March.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is also state BN chairperson, said the decision would be known after a meeting of state BN component parties to be held that day.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot on 24 Feb after being in a coma for nine months. The former Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice-president had been the incumbent since 1991 and was the state Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Sports.

The Election Commission (EC) has fixed 29 March as nomination day and 7 April for polling in the event of contest.

Last week, PRS president Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing said the party had submitted only one name for candidacy to the BN leadership.

Mini budget matters

Taib, when asked to comment on the RM60 billion stimulus package tabled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday, said the impact of the package would be felt early next year.

“Don’t expect too much this year,” he said, adding that Sarawak was grateful to the federal government for setting aside an allocation for development in Sarawak and Sabah.

Najib had announced that RM230 million had been allocated to improve basic infrastructure in the rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah, particularly for improving electric and water supply.

He also announced an allocation of RM1.95 billion to construct and upgrade the facilities of 752 schools in rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah, of which RM300 million would be spent to upgrade facilities for government-aided religious schools, mission schools, and national Chinese and Tamil schools. — Bernama

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