PKR fields 'recycled' candidate for Balingian by-election

MUKAH: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is confident of giving a strong fight in the Balingian state by-election even though its party candidate Abdul Jalil Bujang, 55, was once defeated in the last state election.

PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali defended the party's decision to field a 'recycled' candidate and not a new face because in the democratic process nothing was impossible.

"A defeat in a previous election does not necessarily mean a defeat in the next election," he told reporters after the nomination results were announced at the Mukah civic centre here today.

Abdul Jalil, who is also PKR Bintulu Secretary and a businessman, stood in the Jepak state seat in a five-cornered fight in 2011 but lost to the Barisan Nasional (BN) incumbent Datuk Talip Zulpilip, who is also Sarawak Tourism Assistant Minister.

On the other hand, BN fielded a newcomer, former Dalat district officer Yussibnosh Balo, 48, to represent the BN in the Balingian state by-election.

In the 2011 state election, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud retained the Balingian seat after defeating Suriati Abdullah (PKR) and an Independent Datuk Salleh Jafaruddin with a 5,154 majority-vote in a three-cornered fight.

Balingian has 13,366 registered voters, with Melanau/Melayu accounting for the majority of 7,705 voters or 57.65%, Iban 3,875 (28.99%), Chinese 1,683 (12.59%), Orang Ulu 29 (0.22%) Bidayuh 19 (0.14%) dan other races 55 (0.41%). – Bernama