Did something happen to the PRS GE14 namelist?

Parti Rakyat Sarawak logo.


Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Masing had a private discussion with Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the delicate and ‘confidential’ details of finer things and recent political occurrences in Sarawak, yesterday morning.

According to a reliable source, those who attended the meeting were all made to understand that the discussion is strictly for the two party presidents and ‘no one else’.

One of the things discussed was the issue of PRS ‘calon’ (candidates) for GE14. This is understandable as the matter of PRS possibly dropping two of its existing parliamentary incumbents namely, Datuk William Nyallau (Lubok Antu) and Datuk Joseph Entulu (Selangau) has been a hotly debated issue amongst the Dayak who’s who and their communities.

While major dailies have more or less come to a conclusion that the two will be left out this time around, this speculation, according to some political observers, is ‘premature’, which in fact, might hit the bull’s eye.

For one, Entulu seems to be unjustifiably confident, not behaving like how a distraught politician would behave! It goes against reason. An incumbent who will be dropped by BN would not be strutting around Sarawak wearing a blue BN t-shirt with his own face printed on it. And ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about Entulu strutting around confidently as recently as just 3 days ago.

Entulu wearing a BN shirt with an image of his face on it.

Meanwhile, supporters on the ground for Datuk Masir Kujat seem to be in a jovial mood. Without being too obvious, tiny celebrations have been erupting here and there with glee, as their dream of Masir finally becoming a full minister might come true. ‘Who will be Minister, if not Masir if Entulu is dropped?‘ is the hushed up whispers amongst Masir’s supporters.

Coming back to the confusion on the ground in Selangau, a recent visit by a DayakDaily reporter to Selangau confirmed that. Although the local community knows that Masing wants Entulu out, word has it that BN ‘Big Brothers’ want Entulu in!

With the ‘Entulu face’ t-shirts being distributed freely in Selangau, community leaders seem to perceive Entulu as having acquired quite a bit of cold hard cash to ‘spare’ in recent years and therefore concluded that he has support from ‘BN Big Brothers’.

According to many people interviewed, “how else would a Selangau boy acquire such wealth, if not through favours by Big Brothers!”

Exactly who the ‘big brother’ is or are, nobody seems to be able to confirm. As with most Dayak communities, rumours are often started after a glass of ‘tuak’ too many, and therefore best left to speculation.

While the heat is on, further confusion has been sowed on the ground as to why Entulu should be re-nominated. A local daily reported yesterday Entulu claimed that he “got the best result among PRS MPs” in GE13 as one of the reasons why he should be renominated.

However, a check on the statistics shows that the claim is flawed and therefore untrue. According to statistics, Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak had better results during GE13. Ugak obtained 63 per cent while Entulu had only 58.97 per cent. If anybody is qualified to make the claim, it’s Ugak.

According to the statement as reported by a daily yesterday, Entulu claimed that the reason he has the right to be renominated is due to his ‘victory in securing the post of Deputy President in PRS, which showed that he has support from within PRS’.

In short, Entulu is equating his rights to ‘claim’ the whole of Selangau to PRS TDC’s support for him as Deputy President. According to Datuk Snowdan Lawan, the youth chief of PRS, when interviewed last night, the example Entulu quoted does not make sense.

“How can you claim that because you won a position in PRS, you have the right to be renominated as MP? He does not even have the support of two out of two state assemblymen in Selangau. What about other human beings who are voters and not PRS members in Selangau? What if the two Ahli DUN pulled out their machineries on the ground?”

Meanwhile, when asked about the meeting with Najib, Masing said that he had assurance from the BN chairman that he has Najib’s full support and confidence in the selection of candidates made by presidents of BN component parties for GE14, and that the selection as recommended by the respective party presidents is final.

“As BN chairman, Najib has assured me that he has full confidence in me as party president in my selection of PRS candidates representing PRS seats in Sarawak,” said Masing when contacted earlier this morning.

Najib (left) and Masing shake hands at their recent meeting.

When asked why Entulu was so confident on his re-nomination as a candidate, Masing quoted a Chinese idiom: “ One can guard night and day. But the hardest to guard is against the thief within the family’ (pinyin: Ri fang ye fang. Jia zei nan fang’).

When asked to reiterate what he meant, Masing added: “The six names I submitted have been approved by the BN Sarawak chairman earlier. So these are the six names submitted and approved by BN chairman Najib. Unless the name list was miraculously changed while making its way from the desk of Petra Jaya to Putra Jaya.”

When asked to explained further, Masing only said that the only way the two PRS MPs who are not renominated can make their way back on the list is unless the namelist has been changed without his knowledge as party president.

Asked if this has happened, Masing only recited another proverb, this time in Malay: “Siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas. But it’s okay, because the Malaysian BN chairman assured me one hundred per cent that any appointment of Ministers from my party will be based on my recommendation as party president.” — DayakDaily