Ex-Ba’Kelalan rep believes he can topple Baru in next state polls if …

Datuk Nelson Balang Rining

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Dec 11: Former Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Datuk Nelson Balang Rining, who has been appointed Progressive Democratic Party (PDP)’s new secretary-general, believes he can helm that constituency again if given the chance to contest in the next state election, which is due in 2021.

He based his confidence on his good track record against Ba’Kelalan assemblyman-cum-state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian in the last two polls where they met.

But while he is ready to give Baru, who is also Works Minister, a run for his money, he said the final decision on candidacy depended on Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)’s top leadership.

“I beat him on two occasions, once during a by-election (in 2004) and the second during the state election (in 2006). I haven’t lost in any election.

“To me, nothing is impossible if you work hard and put our heart and mind into it. But then again, it will depend on the GPS’ top leadership and the people on the ground to decide,” Balang told a news conference at PDP headquarters here today.

He was asked whether he and newly elected deputy president, Datuk Anthony Nogeh, would be fielded in the 12th state polls.

Balang won the Ba’Kelalan by-election following the death of its assemblyman Datuk Dr Judson Sakai Tagal in a helicopter crash. He also defeated Baru in the 2006 state election.

However, Balang was dropped in the 2011 state election, and Baru went on to defeat Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Willie Liau.

Meanwhile, Balang cautioned that it would not be easy for GPS to wrest back Ba’Kelalan this time around as Baru is now a full-fledged federal minister. — DayakDaily