KUCHING: The close cooperation among Barisan Nasional components was the vital factor which enabled its candidate Anthony Nogeh Gumbek to defeat the might of former MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe.
Opar assemblyman Ranum Mina, who said this, pointed out that BN components especially in the Opar state constituency were united in fending off the challenge by former BN man Dr Tiki and other two opponents.
“Though Nogeh is from SPDP (Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party), members of the other BN component parties were fully supporting Nogeh because they recognised him as the BN candidate. If there was no cooperation among us, we would be having problems and would not be a strong unit,” Ranum said yesterday.
Nogeh won by a 2,156 majority after garnering 8,265 votes out of 20,384 votes cast in Mas Gading. Based on a vote breakdown during tallying process, Nogeh won a lot of votes from the 19 polling stations in Opar state constituency except for the polling stations of Opar and Stungkor.
Dr Tiki, who was formerly the incumbent for three terms since 1999, managed 6,109 votes while novice Mordi Bimol of Democratic Action Party (DAP) was third with 5,293 votes. Another former MP Patrick Anek Uren of State Reform Party (STAR) only received 462 votes. There were 224 spoilt votes.
According to Ranum, who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Opar chairman, the fact that Nogeh won many votes in Opar showed that the people there still trust BN to bring more development to their area.
“People there still need development and they still want BN to represent them. They desire for better infrastructure and facilities,” he said.
Opar and the other state constituency of Tasik Biru make up the Mas Gading parliamentary seat.
Meanwhile, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Opar chairman Dato Peter Minos said the fight in Mas Gading had been intense because of confusion caused by Dr Tiki who claimed to be a BN-friendly independent.
He was nonetheless very happy that BN had won the battle because at the end of the day, the majority cleared their minds and went ahead choosing the BN candidate.
“The so called pro-BN people who are not with any party should not be allowed to be spoilers because they can pull down BN and get opposition in by default. Hopefully, this will not happen in the state election which could be held in 2015,” he said.
Minos, who is also PBB deputy information chief, was obviously making a tacit reference to the Group of Five, an informal grouping of party-less elected representatives. One of them was Dr Tiki, while the rest are state assemblymen who may choose to defend their seats in the next state election.
On another note, Minos was happy that BN was retained in all the three Bidayuh majority seats of Mas Gading, Serian and Mambong. He said this showed the majority of Bidayuhs are appreciating what BN has done for them and what BN will be doing in the years ahead.
ENDS with pix (kch-bp060513-sa-gading-p1)