Doubts over choice of Telang Usan candidate

Community leaders from Telang Usan expressing their support for Dennis to be retained as BN candidate.

Community leaders from Telang Usan expressing their support for Dennis to be retained as BN candidate.

MIRI: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem has assured community leaders that he will listen to their voices in the choice of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates for the next state election.

He said this after a closed door meeting with community leaders of Telang Usan at a leading hotel here but stopped short of announcing the retention of incumbent Telang Usan state assemblyman Dennis Ngau as the BN candidate in the coming polls.

However, he did hint that the status quo might be maintained.

Accompanying Adenan were PBB deputy president and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu and state BN secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi.

The chief minister said the community leaders present at the meeting expressed their support for Dennis and this was endorsed by Orang Ulu paramount chief Temengong Elizabeth Deng and Baram MP Anyi Ngau.

Speculation has been raging in Telang Usan on whether there would be a change of BN candidate in the next election and Adenan’s reticence on the issue is likely to add fuel to the speculation.

Dennis was happy with the unanimous expression of support by the leaders but said he would wait for the official announcement.

In the last state election, Dennis won with an 845-vote majority in the seat in a four-corner fight, polling 3,579 votes to edge nearest rival PKR candidate and former parliamentarian Harrison Ngau who garnered 2,752 votes.

Former state assemblyman Kebing Wan of SNAP and independent Jok Ding garnered 705 and 623 votes respectively.

The results have emboldened PKR to try to topple BN in this coming state election for this Orang Ulu seat.

The niggling issue of the Baram Dam continue to be used by the opposition and NGOs against the BN and Dennis.

Adenan has announced a deferment of the dam project but activists and those opposed to it are yet to be won over.