A win for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the April 7 Batang Ai by-election will make a perfect gift from the Iban community in Sarawak to incoming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Deputy Water, Energy and Communications Minister Datuk Joseph Salang said this would succintly indicate the community’s full support for his leadership.

He told the media this after officiating at a meet-the-people’s session organised by the Special Affairs Department at Rh.Ambau, in Kaong Ulu here this evening.

“Najib has just taken over the helm of UMNO. He is going to succeed Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the new prime minister soon.

“Let us not shame him by voting for the opposition in Batang Ai,” Salang said.

He said the Ibans who make the majority of the voters in the constituency could ill afford to reject the BN government candidate Malcolm Mussem Lamoh.

“The government is always looking for new ways to lessen the burden faced by the rural folks.

“It has showed its concern and care by coming up with for instance community drumming where they can buy petrol at the same price as enjoyed by those in urban areas,” he said.

He added for Lubuk Antu too, it had decided to spend RM6 million for the setting up of five communication towers so that the people could enjoy better communication and internet connections.

“A RM2 million community broadband centre will be built at Tapang Pungga. This will help the rural folks to receive computer and internet education,” he said, adding that there were numerous other plans of the government to help them particularly on land matters as well, and this should be allowed to happen uninterrupted.

— BERNAMA