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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Nov 3: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong misses late Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing for his poems (‘pantun’) during debates in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex.
“For me, I miss him (Masing) quite a lot because he used to always make (compose) ‘pantun’ using my name in the DUN,” she said.
Though on opposite benches and in different parties, Yong of Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) said Masing who helmed Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) as president had been very helpful and respectful towards her.
She also applauded him for his brilliant job in serving the people of Sarawak especially the Dayak community through his position as Deputy Chief Minister and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development.
“May he rest in peace and may God bless his soul,” she said when met at Masing’s funeral wake at the Association of Churches in Sarawak, Jalan Stampin here today.
Meanwhile, DAP Sri Aman branch chairman Leon Jimat Donald praised Masing’s candor in speaking out on the deficiencies in the rural and coastal areas of Sarawak especially for the Dayak community.
Leon said the former Baleh assemblyman had done well in ensuring transportation and connectivity services for Sarawakians, and he expressed hope that Masing’s successor would continue the legacy and not neglect the needs of the rural and coastal communities.
“I was brought into politics very early in the 90s by Tan Sri himself. After that, we had our political differences.
“I joined DAP and he was still in the government, but to me he remained a great friend, a good leader to the community and we will miss his banter, and we will miss his voice.”
Masing passed away on Oct 31 at the age of 72 at Normah Sarawak Medical Centre due to heart complications. His latest Covid-19 test results were found to be negative. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on Sept 28.
Following the funeral wake which ended at 2pm today, Masing’s remains were taken to Nirvana Memorial Park, Kuching.
He is survived by his wife Puan Sri Dato Corrine Masing, two daughters and a son. He has two daughters from an earlier marriage. — DayakDaily