GE14: Masing confirms PRS to field only one female candidate

KUCHING, Jan 27: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) will field only one female candidate in upcoming 14th General Election (GE14).

This is contrary to the ongoing rumours that the party will field two women as candidates.

Party president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said fielding a woman candiate was to echo Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s call to have women comprise 30 per cent at the top management level.

“PRS will field a female ‘calon’ (candidate) in one of the six MP seats. We have submitted the name of a professional woman as candidate to the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) and Prime Minister.”

“This is in line with PM’s vision of putting in about 30 per cent of female professionals into our top management.”

“By putting a qualified woman as one of our six candidates, we are walking the PM’s talk.”

“It is our hope that the PM will keep his word by giving a Dayak (lady) professional a chance to be in the top management of the nation,” Masing told DayakDaily.

The two rumoured female leaders to be fielded to defend PRS’ seats were PRS women’s chief Dato Sri Doris Brodie for Lubok Antu constituency and Rita Insol.

When asked to confirm whether the party would field only one woman candidate and not two, Masing replied in no uncertain terms: “Only ONE”.

Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister however, refused to divulge more information when DayakDaily tried to press for names.

He only stressed the three criteria for PRS candidates — winnability, discipline and loyalty.

“PRS considers ‘winnability’ as one of the factors which determines why a person is nominated. The other factors, of equal importance, are discipline and loyalty to the party,” said Masing.

PRS hold six parliamentary seats — Kanowit, Julau, Sri Aman, Hulu Rajang, Selangau and Lubok Antu.

Masing so far has announced the candidates for four seats — Aaron Ago Dagang for Kanowit; Datuk Joseph Salang for Julau; Datuk Masir Kujat for Sri Aman; and Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong for Hulu Rajang.

As of today, he is still keeping mum on the candidates for the seats of Selangau and Lubok Antu, which has sparked much speculation that the respective MPs for the two seats — Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun and Datuk William Nyallau Badak — will be replaced.

However, now that Masing has confirmed that there will be one female candidate, it would mean that at least one of the incumbents will be replaced.

Masing had during the party’s 13th Anniversary Dinner, stated clearly that he wanted to empower women in the party by giving them more chances to lead. — DayakDaily