KUCHING, April 28: Petra Jaya incumbent Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof will focus on the basic struggles and issues of Sarawakians to win the Petra Jaya parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional (BN).
Fadillah, who turns 56 this year, said BN Sarawak will not raise issues pertinent to those in the Peninsula, adding that most of them were instigating hatred and mudslinging.
“I urge my fellow BN candidates as well as candidates from the other sides to focus on issues related to the struggles of Sarawakians.
“What we (BN) is offering to the rakyat is based on the struggles and issues of Sarawak, and for the development of Petra Jaya and Sarawak as a whole,” he told reporters after the closing of nomination at SMK Petra Jaya here this morning.
Asked on his preparedness for the election, Fadillah, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice-president and caretaker Works Minister, said he was confident that the state BN as a whole would be able to retain its 25 seats, and win some more out of 31 in total.
“Not to boast or being overconfident, but from the high spirits of our machinery plus the support of all our component members, I can see that we would be able to defend all our seats in Sarawak,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Petra Jaya Datuk Nor Irwan Ahmat Nor, despite knowing that Fadillah won with about 78.5 per cent or 29,559 majority against his colleague Ahmad Nazib Johari in the last parliamentary election in 2013, said he had been going down to the ground often, meeting grassroot leaders for the past couple of years.
Locally born in Petra Jaya, the 42-year-old civil engineer said he had a better grasp of the people’s sentiments and struggles.
“I have been going down to the ground meeting grassroots often for more than a year now, all over Petra Jaya urban and rural areas. I see the people’s acceptance (for PKR) has been very positive.
“With the current issues pressuring the rakyat they are starting to realise and are angry. The reality is that they want ‘anak jati Petra Jaya’ (local born Petra Jaya) to represent them who knows their issues, struggle and sentiments,” said Nor Irwan who hails from Kampung Laruk Skim in Petra Jaya.
He said he was confident that he has a 50-50 chance against Fadillah.
“Unless there’s cheating somewhere,” he added.
Meanwhile Pari Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) candidate for Petra Jaya Hamdan Sani, 31, made a beeline for the exit after the nomination announcement by returning officer Jumaini Hailim, leaving reporters no chance to question him.
Hamdan is from Kampung Samariang Jaya and is the Sarawak PASTI Teachers Institute director, for religious teachers. — DayakDaily