THOUGH Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot’s passing was peaceful, the wake of his death has left a scramble in his quiet constituency in the remote jungles of Sarawak.
The stakes are high in Batang Ai for both the ruling coalition and Pakatan Rakyat as they strive to win the approval of some 8,000 voters in the 7 April 2009 by-election.
Unting had won the seat in the May 2006 state election by a majority of 806 votes, beating Nicholas Bawin Anggat who at the time contested under the SNAP ticket.
It is Bawin who is likely to be fielded against BN’s candidate Malcolm Mussem Lamoh, although former MP (Member of Parliament) Jawah Gerang’s name has also been bandied about as a potential candidate.
Both Bawin and Gerang are popular local boys but the former has the advantage as he is currently PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat)’s Batang Ai chair[person]. Bawin is also favoured by Jeffrey Kitingan, PR (Pakatan Rakyat) leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s special representative for Sarawak.
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This article first appeared on 19 March 2009 in www.theedgemalaysia.com under the same title. Used with permission.