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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, July 10: Puncak Borneo parliamentary constituency would not have fallen to the opposition if the late Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit was well enough to stand in GE14, opined Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong.
The state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister believed Dawos would have retained the seat for the fifth term because he was a workaholic and a hands-on person.
“Oh definitely, we would not have lost Puncak Borneo had he been around. We would have won, that’s guaranteed, hands-on,” he told reporters after paying respect to the late Member of Parliament (MP) at his residence at Stutong Indah today.
He described Dawos, a student of St Joseph’s School, as a hardworking person.
“He (Dawos) was groomed by former chief minister (Tun) Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to become a state secretary, while he was the controller of NREB (Natural Resources and Environmental Board).
“At the time, we can’t persuade the person who had been identified for the seat, so we have no choice but to call him to stand,” Manyin said.
He added: “In a way, he was a reluctant politician, as I really had to persuade him to stand in the new seat of Mambong in the 1999 general election.”
Manyin was all praise of the late Dawos, who was a former Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president, as he was instrumental in promoting Bidayuh culture and unity.
“It is a lost to the whole nation, the state and in particular our community. I would like to offer my heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family,” he continued.
When asked whether DBNA would propose naming an infrastructure such as a road after Dawos in recognition of his contribution to the nation, Manyin, who is also the association’s chief advisor, said the matter has not been discussed during this grieving period.
The late Dawos, who suffered from nasal cancer over the past few years, breathed his last at the age of 70 at his residence around 11.30pm on Monday.
Dawos left behind his wife Datin Sri Christine Dawung Narub, three sons and seven grandchildren.
His funeral is scheduled to be held at St Ann’s Church, Kota Padawan, on Friday at 11am. The former Mambong MP (renamed Puncak Borneo) will be buried at Kampung Stabut, Padawan.
Among those who paid their last respect to the late Dawos today included Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
Also present were DBNA president Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik and Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh. — DayakDaily