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BN wins Batang Ai by-election (Updated 10:42pm)

Updated 10:42pm, 7 April 2009

Malcolm Mussen (Source:
LUBOK ANTU, 7 April 2009: The Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Batang Ai state seat after its candidate, Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, won the by-election today with a 1,854-vote majority. 

Newcomer Malcolm Mussen, a former engineer with the Sarawak Agriculture Department, garnered 3,907 votes to defeat veteran politician Jawah Gerang, the former five-term Lubok Antu Member of Parliament, who obtained 2,053 votes, in a straight fight.

Returning officer Nelson Mujah Girie made the announcement at the Lubok Antu Sports Complex here at 7.45pm.

Batang Ai, one of two state seats under the Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency, has 8,006 registered voters, including 43 postal voters.

Jawah Gerang (Pic by
Wong Chin Huat)
In the May 2006 state election, BN incumbent Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot won the Iban-majority seat beating Nicholas Bawin Anggat from the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) with a 860-vote majority.

The seat fell vacant following Dublin Unting’s death on 24 Feb.

Meanwhile, in KUCHING, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the BN victory in the Batang Ai by-election is a vote of confidence to the new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said.

He said that Najib’s appointment and his message of change were among the factors which contributed to the BN’s huge victory in the area.

“They welcome Najib’s leadership. They believe that positive change will come with his appointment.

“We fully support the new prime minister and this is the way the people of Batang Ai giving Najib a rousing welcome,” a jovial Taib told a news conference at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters here tonight.

In the by-election, new face Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, 49, polled 3,907 votes to beat Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Jawah Gerang who polled 2,053 votes.

Mussen won with a 1,854-vote majority, an increase compared to the 860-vote majority obtained by Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot in the state election in May 2006, beating Nicholas Bawin Anggat of Sarawak National Party (SNAP).  

Taib said BN’s bigger majority was a reflection of a stronger support towards the ruling coalition in the Iban heartland.

“I think it is a clear indication that the people of Batang Ai reject the opposition parties, and this is a reflection of the sentiment of the people in Sarawak,” he said.

He also attributed the victory to the strong solidarity shown by BN leaders who came from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah to support the BN candidate.

Mussen himself is a good and highly-qualified candidate and this also contributed to BN’s victory, he said.

The victory, he said, also showed that the people rejected the opposition parties and their “rough and boisterous politics” from gaining foothold in the Land of the Hornbills.

“They believe in us and I’m very happy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who is the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president, said that the result showed that the people rejected PKR’s presence in the rural area.

“Hopefully this message will be passed down to the urban areas,” he said.

Chan added that the victory was a perfect gift to Najib who was sworn in as the new prime minister on 3 April. — Bernama


 Batang Ai
  Malcolm Mussen Lamoh      BN   3,907
  Jawah Gerang       PKR   2,053

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5 Responses to “BN wins Batang Ai by-election (Updated 10:42pm)”

  1. Karcy says:

    A Russian professor I met once said that democracy is simply about choosing the person who oppresses you.

    In the end, the people of rural Sarawak voted for an oppressor who had money and who was one of their own, instead of a party with a strong peninsular image which promised them liberation but had no means of doing so.

    It’s only a few hours after the official election results and already I’ve seen Semenanjung people are scoffing off Sarawak because Batang Ai voted for BN again. “Is RM100 so big?” Of course, people in Batang Ai earn RM4,000 a month. So much for caring for Sarawakian liberation and welfare.

    I’m a very angry Sarawakian tonight, and the sources of my anger are legion.

  2. mythlord says:

    “A Russian professor I met once said that democracy is simply about choosing the person who oppresses you.”

    So, what does this statement mean? Does it mean that when the people of Bkt Gantang and Bkt Selambau chose PR, they chose an oppressor as well?

    Surely, it is a hypocritical stance to say that when someone votes for PR, [that person] is exercising [their] right for democracy. But when [s/he] does the same for BN, [s/he’s] regarded as foolish, masochistic, stupid, not thinking of the future, etc.

    Since this is a blatantly pro-BN statement, I’m expecting a lot of statements regarding the corruption within BN and Najib’s relation to Altantuya’s murder. Of course, proof (not shabby evidence) is needed to convince people that this really happened.

  3. Danny Lim says:

    A big question mark hangs over the transport of ballot papers! Any funny business during the trip?

  4. Maozi says:

    To lose again, especially with a bigger majority, no doubt is sad. But I think it is good for PKR to realise that they still need much more effort in rural Sarawak (or Sabah). The rural life here is so much different from urban or suburban. They have little, if not no, access to alternative media such as the internet or satellite TV, and their livelihood is pretty much hand-to-mouth, with little, again, if not no, cash to spare.

    You can’t really demand for people to think about liberation, about justice, and anything else, when all they need to worry about is feeding their family.

    Guess that is why BN never wanted to develop the rural Dayak community too much. It’s so that they can have continuous oppression/manipulation over them.

  5. wargabebas says:

    Keadaan di Sarawak sungguh aneh. Apatah lagi di hilir Sarawak. Entahlah, jika pengundi di sana ditawarkan RM100 untuk mengundi BN. Kalau di Semenanjung, RM100 ringgit itu tetap diterima tetapi undi pembangkang juga. Itu perkara biasa. Akan tetapi, yang luar biasa ialah negeri Sarawak kaya dengan galian. Minyak yang dikeluarkan oleh negeri Sarawak ditapis oleh Umno sebanyak 95% dan ditinggalkan hanya 5% untuk pembangunan negeri Sarawak. Kalau demikian rupa, buat apa tinggalkan 5%? Eloklah tinggalkan 1% sahaja, pengundi Sarawak tetap menyokong BN juga.

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