– by Roslan Mutu
KUCHING, Oct 10: If the state election is held today, Dayak National Congress (DNC) president Paul Raja believes four of the six predominantly Orang Ulu constituencies would be won by Pakatan Harapan (PH).
He based his forecast on the current political sentiment, where the unthinkable happened on May 9 — the fall of the once impregnable Barisan Nasional (BN).
“But politics is fluid. We do not know when the state election will be held (note: it is due in 2021), and we won’t know how many seats PH can actually win then,” Paul told DayakDaily here today.
Ba’Kelalan is currently helmed by Works Minister Baru Bian of PH. Paul believed besides retaining Ba’Kelalan, PH could also capture Mulu, Telang Usan and Murum.
“As for Batu Danau and Belaga, I personally think it is difficult as there is a large number of Iban voters there. But as far as the Orang Ulus are concerned, they are now receptive of the PH parties,” claimed Paul, who is a Sarawak DAP committee member.
Concurring with Paul, Save Sarawak Rivers chairman Peter Kallang believes the people’s disappointment with the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) administration over the recent amendment of the Sarawak Land Code and the lowering of voters’ age from 21 to 18 years will also be significant.
“And as far as the people in Baram is concerned, they are still suspicious about the government’s plan to build the Baram hydroelectric power (HEP) dam. That’s why there are still people manning the blockade at the proposed HEP dam site,” said Peter.
When contacted, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon said he was not worried about PH. Rather, he was worried whether promises could be fulfilled.
“In Murum, GPS component parties, especially PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) and PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak), are very intact, and we are moving as a team to get things done for the people. So, my main concern now is to fulfil the promises as well as the needs of the people,” he said.
Kennedy added that the state government under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had allocated some RM1.3 billion for Ulu Rajang Development Agency (Urda), and out of that amount, RM183.5 Million is allocated to Murum, where most of the projects are for infrastructure, especially roads and water supplies.
Meanwhile, Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang commented that GPS was very committed to bringing development to Sarawak as it is a state-based alliance.
“We will continue to fight for the rights of Sarawak. On top of that, we will also bring development to my ‘kawasan’ (constituency). Now, out of 65 longhouses in Batu Danau, only four are still without 24-hour electricity supply.
“But we are working on it now. Soon, three of these remaining longhouses will have power supply from the grid system as works are now in progress.
“And as for the remaining longhouse, Rumah Lembong in Entakong, we need to connect it with road first. Only then can we bring in the electricity,” said Paulus.
As for Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, he was not perturbed by the claim except to say that he would continue to work hard to deliver development for the people.
“As for now, we are development-centric so as to bring benefit to the rakyat. That’s why I really hope that the Long Lama Bridge will be completed by Christmas so that the people could rejoice and celebrate the New Year meaningfully,” he said.
The RM77 million bridge, which was implemented through open tender at the end of 2016, is nearly completed, except for two sections.
“But, of course, our hope is that it could be completed ahead of schedule, which is in April 2019,” he said.
Meanwhile, Belaga assemblyman Datuk Liwan Lagang said as Malaysia is a democratic country, people were free to contest in any election.
“So, if you ask me, I would say I would leave my fate to the voters in Belaga as I have given my best to them in terms of development and services,” said the Assistant Minister of Water Supply.
At press time, Mulu assemblyman cum Deputy Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Dato Gerawat Gala could not be reached for comment. — DayakDaily