Sibu by Election: Three contestants?
SIBU: The contest for the Sibu parliamentary seat looks like to be a three-cornered fight for now.
Returning officer Wong See Meng told reporters two sets of nomination papers had so far been taken for the parliamentary by-election.
“The Barisan Nasional candidate, Robert Lau Hui Yew from the Sarawak United people’s Party (SUPP) has sent his representative to take one set while an independent candidate has taken one.
“The DAP candidate Wong Ho Leng who has been picked by the Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak to contest has yet to come to my office for his set,” he said.
Wong had earlier joined the Election Commission deputy chairman Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar to brief election officers, polling clerks and others involved.
The by-election, the 11th since the March 2008 general election, is being held following the death of the constituency’s five-term incumbent Robert Lau Hoi Chew on April 9 in Kuala Lumpur due to liver cancer.
Meanwhile, Wong said there would be a total of 45 polling stations, of which, the smallest would be the SJK(C) Kai Nang, downstream of the Rajang River in Ensurai with 143 registered voters.
“The biggest is at the Tadika Taman Rajang near here with some 3,484 registered voters. The furthest is the SK Sungai Rasau, on the Igan River, about one and a half hour journey by longboat with its about 300 registered voters,”he said.
Wong said both the nomination and the tally centre would be at the Sibu Civic Centre (Dewan Suarah Sibu).
The seat has some 54,695 registered voters including 2,537 postal voters. They include 5,740 Malays (10.5 per cent), 36,389 Chinese (66.7 per cent), 12,050 Ibans (22.1 per cent), 54 Indians (0.01 per cent) and 289 others (0.53 per cent).
Sibu by-election: Independent Narawi Haron is the third candidate
By PHILIP HII
SIBU: Independent candidate Narawi Haron, a retired serviceman, will make the Sibu parliamentary by-election three-cornered fight.
Narawi contested the same seat in 1995.
“Actually, I was preparing for the state election, but this by-election gives me an earlier chance to contest,” Narawi said, adidng that he would use his savings of about RM70,000 for the by-election expenses.
He claimed that the present state assemblyman for Nangka, Datuk Awang Bemee Ali Basah, had failed the people in his constituency. Nangka is one of the three state constituencies within the Sibu parliamentary seat. The other two are Pelawan and Bawang Assan.
“Give me a chance to represent you for five years and then you judge my performances,” he said.
Narawi contested in 1995 against the late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew and DAP’s Wong Ho Leng, garnering 975 votes.
“I am confident that this time around, I can get a lot more votes. The feedback from the grassroots is good,” he said.
“I have been in constant contact with the grassroots for the past 15 years, visiting them whenever I can,” he added.
He claimed that 300 volunteers were ready to work for him.
Several people in Sibu, when interviewed, remember Narawi for withdrawing from the 2006 state election at the last minute. Narawi, however, defended himself, saying he withdrew to give his cousin Abang Ariffin Bin Abang Sebli, representing PKR, a direct fight with Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Awang Bemee Ali Bassah.
Narawi, a businessman now, worked with the National Registration Department for a year, and then joined the army, where he served for 10 years before becoming a Rela officer.
He is married with six children and lives with his wife in Pasai, 17km from Sibu town.
The Sibu by-election was triggered by the death of Deputy Transport Minister and five-term incumbent Lau on April 9.
Nomination day for the by-election is on Saturday and polling on May 16.
Barisan’s Robert Lau Hui Yew, who is the Sibu SUPP assistant treasurer, and Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng are the other contestants.