Batang Ai: Close fight but BN likely to prevail

Ong Kian Ming (Malaysiakini)
While most analysts would be comfortable in predicting that the by-elections in the two Bukits – Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau – will likely be won by Pakatan Rakyat, the contest in the state seat of Batang Ai in the Sri Aman administrative district in Sarawak will likely go down to the wire.

This contest will likely be decided by less than 300 votes either way but because of the resource advantage which the BN possesses, which will be especially crucial in the last few days of campaigning, my prediction is that the BN will eke out a victory in this by-election.
jawah gerang malcolm mussen batang ai by election 280309A BN victory in this seat means that the attempts by PKR to make inroads into East Malaysia will hit somewhat of a roadblock. It takes some pressure of the Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud as well as the new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
A BN victory here is especially important for Najib given that the BN will likely lose the two by-elections in Peninsular Malaysia. It also means that Anwar and PKR has to ‘go back to the drawing board’, if you will, in terms of finding a strategy to break through to the Dayak voters in time for the next Sarawak state elections, which is due in 2011.