SIBU, March 20 — A third candidate— an independent — has put himself as a candidate for the Batang Ai by-election on April 7.
A publisher of a well known Iban cultural, educational and entertainment magazine, and who has his own portal, Johnny Chuat has thrown his hat into the state seat race.
The 38 year old graduate in Journalism and Communications from Carleton University, Canada, works for an oil and gas company says the final confirmation will be on nomination day, which is March 29, in Lubok Antu.
Chuat, a local from Rh.Councillor Mujah, Nanga Menyebat, Lemanak, a constituency with a majority of Iban voters, has started his ground work preparations and confident of a good showing.
“I am self-funded with no sponsors and I am all resolved to fight. I have nothing to fear or worry. I am confident of garnering at least 90 percent of votes from Lemanak voters who comprise about 3,000 of the 8,006 registered voters in Batang Ai. They are my relatives as well,” he told Bernama when contacted.
He said his confidence brewed from the fact that this was the first time that someone from Lemanak was contesting in an election.
Chuat is also confident of capturing votes from others in the constituency, especially the fence-seaters and those who are disillusioned with either Barisan Nasional or Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
“I am offering myself as the alternative choice,” said Chuat who remains unfazed despite facing the prospect of a tough battle against the might and logistics of BN and the organisation of PKR.
“BN may be fielding generally a very acceptable candidate in Malcolm Mussem Lamoh while PKR may field veteran Nicholas Bawin (Lubok Antu branch chairman) or former four-term parliamentarian Jawah Gerang, but I have my own strategies and won’t disclose it just yet.”
The publisher said over the past 10 years, he had been organising many motivation talks and also offered financial assistances to varsity bound students from poor families and believed those who had graduated now would still remember such deeds. — Bernama