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KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has clarified that the party has yet to make final decisions on the candidacy for Selangau and Lubok Antu parliamentary seats.
Masing who is Deputy Chief Minister was surprised by all the hooha deriving from the news that two new faces may be fielded by the party in the pending general election (GE14).
He stressed that in the impromptu interview on Sunday with the press, he did not say PRS would field two new faces.
“What I said then was that, I have yet to receive endorsement from the assemblymen of the two seats (Selangau and Lubok Antu).”
“However, one local daily just jumped the gun, saying that there would be new faces. In the whole interview, I did not say I would field new faces for the two parliamentary areas.
“At this stage, I don’t even know for certain who will contest representing PRS in these two seats,” Masing told DayakDaily today.
He reiterated that no final decision has yet been made with regards to the two seats as the party needed to check on the sentiments on the ground and learn more about the inspirations of the voters.
“We are still looking into the two seats. Do let us have the space. Let me reiterate again, no final decision has been made with regards to these two seats.
“Furthermore, for all we know, the general election might be called only in August next year; it is just too premature to jump the gun that Datuk Entulu and Datuk Nyallau should be replaced.
“It is still a long way to the next general election. And you know in politics, anything can happen. So please stop speculating and create animosity within PRS,” said Masing when asked to confirm if Selangau MP Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun and Lubok Antu MP Datuk William Nyallau Badak would be replaced by new faces.
Selangau parliamentary constituency consists of the two state seats of Tamin and Kakus. Both are PRS areas, represented by Christopher Gira Sambang and Datuk John Sikie Tayai respectively.
Lubok Antu on the other hand, is made up of the two state constituencies of Engkilili and Batang Ai. Engkilili is held by Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa from UPP, a BN-friendly party while Batang Ai is held by Malcom Mussen Lamoh of PRS.
“Our process of endorsement is very simple. If the state assemblymen of the area endorses him, then I will have no choice but to endorse him because these (the state assemblymen) are the people who have the support and the influence.
“To date, for Lubok Antu and Selangau, I have not received any letter of endorsement from the YBs (elected representatives) of the areas especially PRS YBs. So I will just leave it alone for a while and see what happens,” said Masing during the interview on Sunday.