LUBOK ANTU, 29 March 2009: The Barisan Nasional candidate for the Batang Ai state by-election, Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, finds great comfort in the number nine.
“I’m 49 years old, born in 1959, resigned from government service on the 19th (of March). The nomination day is today, March 29 while Batang Ai is state constituency number 29,” he told reporters after he was confirmed as candidate for the 7 April by-election.
Incidentally, number nine is an auspicious number among the Chinese community for it represents everlastingness.
With this good start, Malcolm Mussen is confident of a good showing in the contest for the seat against Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Jawah Gerang.
“We must work hard. I’m willing to work very hard in continuing development efforts in Batang Ai. The people of Batang Ai should give me a chance,” he said.
On his preparations, he said he had visited most parts of the constituency which has 22,270 people, predominantly Ibans, but only 8,006 of whom are registered voters.
Previously an engineer with the state Agriculture Department, Malcolm Mussen enjoys the added advantage of having travelled widely in this rural constituency which was in the hands of three-term BN incumbent Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot, who died on 24 Feb after a long illness.
“I believe I have a more personal touch among the grassroots, from the civil servants to the longhouse folk in the area, compared to the other candidate.
“I have direct access to them. I believe my personality can stand on its own but of course the campaigning will be an added bonus,” he said.
He was unfazed by the prospect of facing Jawah, a former five-term BN MP for Lubok Antu, saying: “We are friends but we have different ideologies.”
On problems in his constituency, he said the problems would always be there but he was confident of solving them. — Bernama