I prefer to focus on putting the people first than on being the first Iban woman MP, says Doris

Doris (right) and Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) hold election campaign material as they pose for a photo before polling day with a shopkeeper in Simanggang. — file pic

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By Wilfred Pilo

SRI AMAN, Nov 20: Sarawak created history yesterday when voters in P202 Sri Aman chose to send Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Women chief Dato Sri Doris Sophia Brodie to Parliament as the first Iban woman MP in the country.

Doris, when interviewed by DayakDaily, was unperturbed about being the first Iban woman MP and instead, highlighted that her priority is the people of Sri Aman.

“I do feel humbled about being the first Iban woman to do so (represent the people in Parliament) and secondly, to all the women out there, ‘if there is a will, there is a way’,” she said.

“In all honesty, if we women are given a chance to be a ‘wakil rakyat’, I feel we can do it if the opportunity is given to us,” she added.

Doris also saw this political milestone in Sarawak’s history as a breakthrough for the Iban community.

“This is a breakthrough for the Iban Dayak community because it shows a man-centric mindset is no longer an issue. It was before and it is no longer now.

“It is a matter of how you carry yourself or whether you have substance. If you have (the qualities be an MP), you can ‘sell’ and people will ‘buy’ it. I think that mindset now is no more.”

She said that this pointed towards a promising future for Iban or Dayak women, young girls and children.

Asked about the just concluded 15th General Election (GE15), Doris said that they will definitely do a postmortem on her party’s victory in 5 out of 6 federal seats they contested in as well as the overall results for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

“This also includes the parliamentary seat contested by the PRS party’s leader (Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum) in Julau,’ she said.

On Sarawak and GPS’s overall performance in GE15, Doris said she accepted the result.

“Overall, we did well, but we must consolidate the seats that we lost so that we have enough voices in Parliament, ” she said.

Early this morning, Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg expressed confidence that GPS has won 23 out of 31 federal seats in Sarawak, pending the results for P220 Baram. Polling in the rural constituency was put on hold due to bad weather and flooding which suspended operations at 11 polling centres on polling day yesterday. — DayakDaily