BN’s slim majority in Baram raises questions


MARUDI: Barisan Nasional’s (BN) slim majority of 194 votes in the Baram parliamentary constituency has raised questions among political observers here.

Newly-elected Baram member of parliament Anyi Ngau received 9,182 votes compared to 8,988 polled by Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Roland Engan, while independent candidate Patrick Sibat managed just 363 votes to lose his deposit.

This was the lowest majority BN has ever received in the constituency.

It was also the lowest majority for BN among all the seats it won in this parliamentary election.

Political observers said Anyi is not unknown to the constituency as he was a popular former
Marudi district officer, so constituents were likely to be demonstrating their frustrations via the ballot box.

“We cannot deny that the opposition PKR has worked very hard throughout Baram over the last two years with issues such as the Baram Dam and petroleum royalty,” said one observer.

He added that none of the ballot boxes during this election had 100 per cent votes for BN unlike during the 2011 state election.

“The situation should be investigated from all angles as to why the voters are giving their votes to the opposition PKR this time round. There might also be some who are just frustrated voters. It seems that the areas that the BN lost were those from frustrated voters,” he said.

In total 18,796 voters cast their votes in the Baram constituency – a turnout of 64 per cent of the total 29,385 registered voters – with 242 voters spoiling their ballots.

During the 2008 parliamentary election, there were 24,425 registered voters in Baram and only 49.64 per cent or 12,126 of them voted.