KUCHING: PKR candidate for Saratok Ali Biju said he felt honoured to be up against BN candidate Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom come May 5 because the latter is a veteran politician.
Ali claimed that Mawan who is also SPDP president and state senior minister would have an advantage over him because not only is Mawan a very experienced politician but he has all the government machinery behind him.
In the last state election, the media coined Ali as a giant killer after he beat the then SPDP deputy president cum assistant minister of agriculture Datuk Peter Nyarok Entrie with a handsome majority vote of 2,090 in Krian.
“But if they wanted a fair and clean election like BN always pointed out then they should not use their machinery but instead use good democracy to decide who will be the government of the day,” Ali said.
“In the last 2008 parliamentary election, BN candidate Jelaing Mersat won comfortably with almost 9,000 votes so the task now will be a challenge for PKR,” he added.
Ali said despite the odds, he has worked hard and would leave it to the people to decide on who will be representing them in the next five years.
Yesterday, the state BN ended all speculations over BN Saratok candidacy when it announced Mawan to be the candidate.
Saratok is now a hot seat not only because it will be a showcase of a state representative pitting against another state representative but also because much is at stake for the constituents there.
Ali, who is state PKR vice-chairman, was said to have been canvassing for support for the past two years in Saratok.
Of late, Mawan was seen campaigning in Saratok whilst BN was searching for a winnable candidate.
His was a surprise inclusion in BN’s announcement yesterday even though speculations
were rife since last year that incumbent Jelaing – SPDP senior vice-president – would be offloaded.
Apart from Mawan, names which had been bandied about to replace Jelaing were that of Chambai Lindong, Enturan Luta, Jasmy Sadan Sagi, Dr James Chela, Councillor Barbara Mawan and Captain Zainuddin Hamdan Sirat.
In the 2008 general election, Saratok which had 23,982 voters saw Jelaing win the seat for BN with 12,470 votes against PKR candidate Mohd Yahya Abdullah’s 3,764 votes.