KUCHING, April 20 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is confident that Barisan Nasional (BN) will be able to retain the Sibu parliamentary seat in the by-election on March 16 based on the people’s response during his visit to the area.
“When I attended a dinner with nearly 500 community leaders in Sibu last night, they responded spontaneously to my explanation of the BN’s struggle because they understood what it was all about,” he told a news conference after opening the Malaysia Trust Fund Week organised by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, in Petra Jaya, here today.
The Sibu parliamentary by-election is called following the death of incumbent MP Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew from SUPP on April 9.
Muhyiddin (picture) also said that the BN candidate would only be announced after Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud, who is Sarawak BN chairman, discussed the matter with Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and other state BN component parties.
Muhyiddin paid tribute to Lau, saying he had done a lot of good deeds in Sibu and that his good work would be continued by the BN candidate to be announced later.
“I believe that when the time comes, we will field a suitable candidate and I hope that the people will give their support,” he said.
He also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had decided that Taib would announce the candidate.
On the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election on Sunday, he said, “We would like to see a straight fight and the fact that two independent candidates have withdrawn has opened a big way for us to contest head on with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)”.
He said that former independent candidates VS Chandran and Johan Mohd Diah had vowed to support the BN and this augured well for the coalition in the area.
On the move by Hulu Selangor PKR treasurer Datuk Dr Halili Rahmat to quit the party to join Umno, Muhyiddin said the move should serve as a lesson for the people on what PKR actually stood for.
Meanwhile, in an event in Betong, Muhyiddin called on state elected representatives to identify infrastructure development projects for urgent implementation.
He said the government would give priority to implementing urgent projects first, especially in rural areas.
“If the requirement is immediate, we will implement them as soon as possible,” he said at the meet-the-people session and the launching of the “Jom Berambeh” for the Batang Lupar parliamentary constituency in Kampung Beladin, a Malay fishermen village here today.
On the request for a bigger clinic for the Beladin residents, Muhyiddin said, he would refer the matter to the Health Ministry.
He also announced an allocation of RM39.7 million which would be disbursed in the 10th Malaysia Plan to build longhouses in Batang Lupar parliamentary constituency.
Also present was Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu representing Taib. — Bernama
Muhyiddin sees BN cakewalk in Sibu