Masing: PRS must not be male-centric when half of voters are women

Masing tying a 'warrior' headband on one of his party's women's wing members.

KUCHING, Feb 24: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said he will field a woman as the party’s candidate in the coming general election (GE14) as the party should be more inclusive towards women.

“PRS must not be a male-centric party. Our men must understand this and same goes to our voters. I admit, we in PRS are male-centric. This kind of prejudice and mentality happens everywhere throughout the world and it is still the same today,” he said at the launch of Bengkel Siap Siaga, Gerak Gempur Wanita PRS today.

PRS has 11 state assemblymen and six Members of parliament, but has yet to have a woman as one of its elected representatives.

Masing, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister and Baleh assemblyman lamented that in the Dayak society, half of whom are men, tend to look down on the other half or treat them as second class, but when it comes to voters, half of them are women.

“All these years, our PRS female members have not failed in to assisting all of our six MPs, so to recognise them, PRS is probably the only Dayak party in Malaysia which will have a Dayak lady as its elected representative after GE14,” he said.

Masing strikes a gong to launch the party’s Bengkel Siap Siaga, Gerak Gempur Wanita PRS workshop.

He added that to recognise the party’s women wing’s loyalty and hard work, Datuk Seri Doris Sophia Brodie became the first Dayak lady to be appointed as the Deputy Speaker of Dewan Negara. 

“Even though PRS is a small party, we broke the glass ceiling in pushing for Dayak woman in the top national administration, to be the Dewan Negara Deputy Speaker. PRS recognises the contribution of women in its political struggle and therefore, we will rewarded them accordingly.

“Remember this: you can never get what you never had, unless you are willing to do what you have never done. So rest assured, we will field one woman candidate this time,” he added.

Masing recently announced the name of four candidates, to stand in four of the six parliamentary seats allocated to PRS to contest in GE14, namely Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum (Julau), Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (Kanowit), Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong (Hulu Rajang) and Datuk Masir Kujat (Sri Aman).

However Masing has yet to announce the candidates for the two remaining seats, namely Lubok Antu and Selangau.

The incumbent for the Selangau seat is Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun, who is the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, while Datuk William Nyallau Badak is the incumbent for Lubok Antu. — DayakDaily