MUKAH: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is confident of giving Barisan Nasional (BN) a strong fight in the Balingian by-election even though its candidate Abdul Jalil Bujang lost in the last state election.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said this when defending the party’s decision to field a ‘recycled’ candidate.
“A defeat in a previous election does not necessarily mean a defeat in the next election,” he told reporters after the nomination results were announced at Mukah Civic Centre here yesterday.
Jalil, 55, who is also PKR Bintulu secretary and a businessman, contested the Jepak state seat in a five-cornered fight in the 2011 state election but lost to BN incumbent Datuk Talip Zulpilip, who is also Assistant Tourism Minister.
Agreeing with Azmin, PKR state chairman Baru Bian cited himself as an example as he had lost in three elections before eventually securing victory in his fourth attempt.
“This is part of a democratic process,” he said.
Elected representatives of PKR’s other partners in Pakatan Rakyat, namely DAP and PAS from both the peninsula as well as from Sabah, were seen accompanying Jalil at the nomination centre.
They reiterated that the issues they would raise during campaigns at the by-election would be on petroleum royalty and corrupt practices of the BN government.
“We will tell the people that the time has come for a change and here we are to bring that change which is needed to rid this country of corruption and nepotism,” they added.
DAP Palawan assemblyman David Wong said his party will assist PKR to voice the needs of local people, especially infrastructure, schools, basic amenities and roads.