KUCHING, 23 March 2009: Former Lubok Antu member of parliament (MP) Jawah Gerang, 55, has been named PKR’s candidate for the 7 April Batang Ai by-election, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced here today.
Another leading candidate, Nicholas Bawin, 51, who contested on the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) ticket in the May 2006 state election and lost narrowly by 806 votes to incumbent, the late Dublin Unting Ingot, was made director of operations for Jawah’s election campaign.
Anwar said Gerang, the five-term Lubok Antu MP, was chosen after much discussion between supporters of the two proposed candidates.
“I hope everybody will give their cooperation as PKR is confident in Gerang’s ability in solving the people’s problems and in looking after the interests of all communities in the state.
“I believe that with the strong partnership of Bawin and Gerang, PKR can wrest the Batang Ai seat,” he told reporters at a packed conference room.
Gerang, a graduate in Economics from Universiti Malaya, said he would work hard to deliver the seat.
“I believe we can make a good start,” he said.
The Batang Ai seat fell vacant following the death of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice-president Dublin on 24 Feb after being in coma following a stroke in May last year.
Batang Ai is one of the two state seats in the Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency. The other is Engkilili.
Gerang is up against Agriculture Department engineer Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, 49, fielded by Barisan Nasional.
Expected to contest as an independent candidate is Johnny Chuat, 38, the publisher of a well-known Iban cultural, educational and entertainment magazine and who has his own portal.
The Election Commission has fixed 29 March as nomination day and 7 April for polling. — Bernama