By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, July 31: Eight-term Baleh assemblyman Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing today warned Koh Kumbong that his insistence of contesting against him in Baleh in the coming state election could affect the support base of his younger brother Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong.
Hulu Rajang parliamentary constituency consisted of Baleh, Pelagus and Belaga, all of which are controlled by Masing’s party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), of which, he is the president.
Ugak, who is a two-term Hulu Rajang MP, is also a supreme council member of PRS.
“Koh Kumbong was never been with me all the while. He was a government officer posted all over Sarawak till he retired just recently.
“But his brother Datuk Ugak (Kumbong) has been with me for years.
“If Koh ‘jadi’ contesting (against me) it will just kacau Datuk Ugak’s support in Hulu Rajang.
“I can’t stop him from spoiling Ugak’s standing. It’s a free country. Koh can contest whenever or wherever he wants,” Masing told DayakDaily today.
Koh has been endorsed by Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) as its candidate for Baleh in the coming state election.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, reiterated that everyone is free to contest in a democratic country and that anyone eligible is free to pursue their dreams.
“Baleh is an Iban country. So every Iban (in Baleh) is free to follow his or her dreams of being a YB (elecred representative). It’s not my position, nor am I willing to stop them from pursuing that dreams,” stressed Masing.
When asked for his comment on how he has been able to win since 1983, Masing said, “Be honest, sincere and serve the people to the best of my ability. Anang bula (don’t lie). If you can’t do it, just say why you can’t do it”.
In the last state election held in 2016, Masing won with a majority of 4793 votes when he polled 5,272 votes against DAP’s Agop Linsong who polled only 479 votes.
In a graphic information of the election results in Baleh since 1983, Masing’s popularity surged from merely 48 per cent of popular vote in 1983 to 96 per cent in 2001.
In 20016, however, his popularity dipped to 84 per cent before it picked up again to 90 per cent in the last state election.
Meanwhile, at the time of writing, Koh could not be reached for his comments.-DayakDaily