‘Grassroots want fresh face to stand for Selangau seat’

Datuk John Sikie Tayai

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KUCHING: Both Kakus assemblyman Datuk John Sikie Tayai and Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang are claiming that the grassroots of the two state constituencies prefer a new face to incumbent Selangau MP Datuk Joseph Entulu.

Both when contacted said it was the sentiment on the ground to have a new candidate for the upcoming general election.

“I will be meeting with Tan Sri (Dr James Jemut Masing, president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak) later. We will discuss this.”

“The decision of who to stand (from PRS) lies with the people. I have only one vote, my wife, another vote. I can’t decide. We need to take consideration of the sentiments on the ground,” Sikie told the DayakDaily this morning.

Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang

Meanwhile, when contacted, Christopher said not only the young people but also the women voters in his constituency preferred a new face for Selangau.

“Anyway, I will have further discussions with the people and grassroots leaders on the ground.”

He said the young voters below 45-years-old made up half of the voter population. Including the women voters, it would be much more than half of the overall voters.

Pressed on the reasons why the younger and women voters were asking for a new and younger representative, Christopher said they wanted change. Among the reasons was that they felt the incumbent has held the position for too long and should give way to fresh blood. They also felt that a new face would work harder to bring more development to Selangau.

The Selangau parliamentary seat comprises the Kakus and Tamin state seats.

Masing who is also deputy chief minister recently revealed that he has yet to receive letters of endorsement from the two state assemblymen with regards to whether they support PRS incumbent Entulu to be renominated.

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

Masing had announced endorsement for four of them — Kanowit, Julau, Sri Aman, Hulu Rajang — but not Selangau and Lubok Antu, despite the fact that he has submitted the full list to state Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

So far, Aaron Ago Dagang has been endorsed for Kanowit; Datuk Joseph Salang for Julau; Datuk Masir Kujat for Sri Aman; and Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong for Hulu Rajang as there was endorsement from the local state assemblymen for these MPs to be nominated.

Masing said the candidates for Selangau and Lubok Antu have yet to be announced because he has not received any letters of endorsement from the state assemblymen of the state seats under the said two parliamentary seats.

The two state seats of Tamin and Kakus are PRS areas, represented by Christopher Gira Sambang and Datuk John Sikie Tayai respectively.