KUCHING: Mas Gading incumbent Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, who was sacked by the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) in 2011, could still stand for Barisan Nasional (BN) following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s statement that BN-friendly candidates may be allowed to contest on the party’s ticket.
Dr Tiki, together with Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie, Paulus Palu Gumbang, Rosey Yunus and Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran were sacked from the party for gross insubordination.
They eventually formed the BN Club and announced themselves to be BN-friendly.
Nansian, who is Tasik Biru assemblyman, said when contacted yesterday that he welcomed Najib’s statement and hoped Dr Tiki would be one of those selected.
He described Dr Tiki as a “people’s candidate” who still has strong grassroots support.
“What is of utmost importance for now is for BN to win (in Mas Gading) and for that reason we must put a people’s candidate and not party’s candidate. For party things, we can sort out later,” he said.
Meanwhile, former SPDP Tasik Biru secretary Nicholas Kudang Garia agreed that Dr Tiki still commands the support of the majority of voters.
He said this was clear from Dr Tiki’s recent visits to various villages in the area.
“The majority of the 25,821 voters in Mas Gading are still in favour for Dr Tiki to contest,” Kudang said in a statement.
He added that even if Dr Tiki is not given a BN ticket, he would still win as an independent BN-friendly candidate.
In the 2008 parliamentary election, Dr Tiki received 8,551 votes to defeat the State Reform Party’s (STAR’s) Dr Patau Rubis (4,250 votes) and independent candidates Apin Baeng (306 votes) and Favian Tisen (1,476 votes).
SPDP has endorsed Anthony Nogeh as its candidate of choice for Mas Gading.
On Wednesday, Najib said that BN is prepared to allow elected representatives friendly to the coalition in the last Dewan Rakyat and state assemblies to contest on a Barisan ticket.
He said if they are given the chance to represent BN, they would not have to join any of the component parties. - theborneopost