Exceptionally tough fight for SPDP, says Mawan

Dato Sri William Mawan

SIBU: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party(SPDP) president Dato Sri William Mawan has described the 2011 state election as an exceptionally tough challenge for his party which lost two out of eight seats it contested.

“We had 100 per cent wins in the 2006 state and 2008 parliamentary elections.

“But this time it was tougher,” he told Bernama here yesterday.

SPDP suffered a bitter blow when its deputy president Datuk Peter Nyarok Entrie was defeated in his Krian stronghold by Parti Keadilan Rakyat newcomer Ali anak Biju, a businessman.

It suffered another heartbreak when its greenhorn Willie Liau was beaten by Sarawak’s most well-known Native Customary Right(NCR) land activist, Baru Bian who is also the state PKR chairman, in the Ba Kelalan seat.

However if there is any consolation, Mawan who is the state Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation, overcame a challenge from Jamal Abdullah @ Tedung anak Gunda from the Sarawak National Party(SNAP) by retaining his Pakan seat with a 1,197 vote majority.

SPDP also won the Tasik Biru, Meluan, Bekenu, Marudi and Batu Danau constituencies. He attributed Nyarok and Willie’s defeats to a combination of factors including the emergence of young voters and new mentality.

“We also have to deal with a lot of lies and allegations from the opposition especially with regard to land grab and NCR lands issues,” he said.  Meanwhile, Ali Biju when met said he challenged Nyarok because the  latter had failed to bring about the much needed infrastructures in the  area, and over land matters.

“Krian is one of those rural places with the least number of roads and amenities like water and power supply  despite Nyarok being a member of the state cabinet for many years,” he claimed.

Their frustration were said to be translated into Ali’s majority of 2,090 votes, among the highest for a newcomer in the polls.

In Willie’s case, it was simply him against a more exprienced and better known Baru Bian, a lawyer who is vocal on NCR land issues and who had won a number of cases in court. But then again the two were tough choices for the 4,574 voters who cast their votes.

Baru Bian in his third attempt for the seat won with a narrow 473 majority, one of the lowest in this election. — Bernama

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