Masing refutes claims by former PRS Kakus members

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, May 29: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing is not perturbed by those using him as an excuse to leave the party to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

To him, it did not come as a surprise as the group was following a leader who joined PKR just two days after Barisan Nasional (BN) lost the 14th general election.

“The leader of those who wanted me out of the party applied to join PKR only days after BN lost. A month before that he screamed himself blue supporting BN! Can we trust such a political character with our party?” said Masing.

He was responding to the recent news that some 300 PRS Kakus members had announced they were quitting the party.

These members under PRS Kakus division deputy chairman and longhouse chief Kinseng Jelian claimed that they had lost confidence in Masing’s leadership due to the latter’s action in determining candidates in the May 9 general election.

Kinseng said the formula used in determining candidates by getting endorsement from the state assemblymen of area, was motivated by self-interest and ineffective, thus leading to PRS losing in some areas.

Citing the defeat of PRS in Selangau, he said the loss of support for PRS candidate Rita Insol showed that the two assemblymen under Selangau parliamentary constituency — Datuk John Sikie (Kakus) and Christopher Gira (Tamin) — were not influential in the area.

“The loss of Selangau is a reflection of the ‘wind of change’ against BN from Peninsular Malaysia and it affected us.

“The loss was further aggravated by the lack of cohesion among BN component parties. The detailed results clearly showed that was the main cause. If this lack of cohesion among Sarawak BN parties persists, Sarawak will have a big problem come the 2021 state election,” said Masing.

Kinseng together with PRS Kakus deputy women chief tuai rumah Dora Lani and its deputy youth chief Pajih Mawang had called on Masing to resign as party president. They also expressed their loss of confidence in Sikie.

“They have the strangest way of expressing themselves. They want me out of the party by leaving the party; that is strange, isn’t it?” remarked Masing.

Masing who is also Deputy Chief Minister said in actual fact, this group of people had already planned to leave the party to join PKR.

“I am only a convenient excuse for them. And before they leave, they tried to deal another blow to the party by declaring that they have lost confidence in me. That is just their way to hurt the party. This is just politics,” said Masing. — DayakDaily