LUBOK ANTU: With election experience of over two decades, Nicholas Bawin may finally have a good crack at being elected.
He has contested elections in Sarawak over the past two decades. He has been a candidate six or seven times, both in state and parliamentary elections, but was never successful, for lack of resources.
Now fielded by PKR, he faces a Barisan Nasional newcomer in Robert Pasang Alam of PRS and an independent candidate, Jugah Murang, in the contest for the Iban-majority seat of Lubok Antu.
It is Bawin’s third attempt to wrest the seat from the BN.
Bawin, 60, is the former deputy president of Majlis Adat Istiadat, former president of the Sarawak Dayak National Union and a well-known land rights activist.
“With such credentials, Bawin should have been with the BN. He could easily have won and would have been a good people’s representative”, said villager John Kilat of Jelukong, Lubok Antu.
He said that Bawin is quite a popular personality in Lubok Antu but was always defeated because he lacked the resources to fight in a rural constituency like Lubok Antu.
Unashamedly, Kilat said that many voters looked for a “windfall” at election time and it was only those from BN who could afford to live up to their expectations.
“During an election, it is easy to request for funds to upgrade our longhouses, tar roads leading to our villages, new generators, water supply from fresh sources etc. These are our basic needs and the BN candidate will normally give us what we want. We understand the opposition is in no position to help us that way. So what can we do except to vote for the BN”, he said.
Lubok Antu was represented by William Nyalau who was recently sacked by his party, PRS. It is said that he is pulling his weight behind
Bawin this time. If that is true, Bawin could perform better in his third outing in Lubok Antu.
BN’s newcomer Robert Pasang is a 51-year-old lawyer and a confidante of PRS president James Masing. His clear advantage is that he has the might of the BN behind him and that includes the full support of his party president.
Masing has gone to Lubok Antu a few times over the past week to drum up support for his man.
With PRS riven by internal strife, and a greenhorn BN candidate being fielded against him, the experienced Bawin can look forward to May 9 with greater confidence.
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