Masing asserts PRS’ right to nominate its candidates

PRS leaders cutting cake to celebrate its 13th Anniversary Dinner held at Sri Aman,

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SRI AMAN, Oct 22: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) will not allow state assemblymen from other parties to interfere with the party’s decision on the choice of candidates for the elections.

Its president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said likewise, PRS should also refrain from commenting on the candidates of other parties.

“I cannot allow ADUN (state assemblymen) from other parties to make personal observations and comment on the suitability of our ‘calon’ (candidate).

“And we must also refrain from commenting on other party’s ‘calon’. Once that party has made their choice, and as a member of the BN (Barisan Nasional) family, we must give their choice our fullest support,” said Masing without naming anyone in particular.

However, it is understandable to assume he is referring to United People’s Party (UPP) Engkilili state assemblyman Dr Johnichal Rayong who has been rallying support for the renomination of Lubok Antu MP Datuk William Nyalau Badak. It has been rumoured that Nyalau will be replaced by a female candidate.

Johnichal had on quite a few occasions expressed his support for the nomination of Nyalau.

The Lubok Antu parliamentary seat consists of Engkilili and Batang Ai. While Engkilili is under UPP, Batang Ai is under PRS assemblyman Malcom Mussen Lamoh.

Masing who is also Deputy Chief Minister said many BN component parties may submit their candidate lists but there had been occasions that the lists were rejected by BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the last minute ‘due to reasons best known to the prime minister.’

“However, ladies and gentlemen, our list of candidates ever since I became the President of PRS has never been rejected by the prime minister,” said Masing during PRS’ 13th Anniversary Dinner held at a hotel here tonight.

Masing said despite Najib emphasising a candidate’s winnability as the main criterion for nominating a candidate, it was not the only determining criterion.

“There are other issues which can mitigate the winnability criterion and reduce a candidate’s chance of being endorsed even if he can win.”

Citing the example of former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Masing said these were all winnable candidate who UMNO would never consider to be candidates to defend its seats.

He said there was a standard operating procedure or SOP in choosing and nominating PRS candidates where the state assemblymen would write in to endorse a parliamentary nomination.

And in PRS Julau parliamentary seat where PRS has no state seat, he said he took the liberty of nominating a candidate after getting feedback from the ground. — DayakDaily