Wednesday January 9, 2013
Sri Aman will still be Barisan’s, says Masing
By RINTOS MAIL
KUCHING: PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing is adamant that Barisan Nasional still has a big chance to retain Sri Aman seat after the 13th general election.
He said his confidence stem from facts and figures and not mere assumption.
Masing, who is Land Development Minister, pointed out that the majority votes garnered by Barisan candidates in the 2008 parliamentary elections and 2010 state elections in the seat formed a strong basis to that claim.
Sri Aman is made up of three state seats — Balai Ringin, Bukit Begunan and Simanggang.
The seat, which is traditionally allocated to PRS, is currently held by Masir Kujat, who won it by a 4,252-vote majority against Independent Cobbold John Lusoi in a straight fight in the 2008 parliamentary elections. Masir polled 9,700 votes as against Cobbold’s 5.448.
In the 2011 state elections, Barisan won in Balai Ringin with 2,885- vote majority, Bukit Begunan (2,773) and Simanggang (2,447).
“These majority votes are all Barisan voters and I don’t think they would run away from us in the coming parliamentary elections,” he said.
Masing dismissed the notion that his confidence came from the expected multi-cornered fight in the seat.
“That is just an assumption and we don’t asses our chances based on assumption because that is coffee shop politics.
“There must be a strong basis to our claim and the latest election results is the basis to our claim,” he further asserted.
On a report that former Sarawak Forestry Corporations general manager Wilfred Landong had expressed keen interest to contest the seat on PKR ticket, he responded: “The more the merrier.”
Masing said Landong might have basis to his claim that the basic infrastructure issue in Sri Aman had not been resolved after 50 years of independence.
However, he pointed out that whether the issue would hold water only time would tell.
“We in Barisan have been doing our best and will continue to do better, but obviously the opposition can’t do better either,” he said.
He said the Pakatan Rakyat de-factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had been in the Government for many years but what had he done while he was in the government.
Landong, who joined PKR only recently, reportedly said he was ready to contest against Barisan in the seat but would leave the decision to the discretion of the party’s top leadership since DAP was also eyeing Sri Aman.
Born and raised in Sri Aman, Landong claimed he would fight for better basic infrastructure in the state.
Meanwhile, DAP is said to be keen on fielding its Sri Aman branch chief Leon Jimat to lead Pakatan’s offensive in Sri Aman. DAP secretary-general Lim Guang Eng is said to have endorsed Leon’s candidacy.
Apart from PKR and DAP, SWP has also expressed interest on the seat.