PRS Batang Ai, Engklili branches strongly against Lubok Antu MP rejoining party

Salang (third right) receiving the letters objecting to Jugah rejoining PRS, from Batang Ai and Engkilili branch representatives.

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By Chris Bishop and Karen Bong

KUCHING, Aug 9: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Batang Ai and Engkilili branches have strongly objected to Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang rejoining the party due to past disloyalty, especially his actions in not supporting Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) during the last State Election and actively helping independents against GPS candidates.

In a meeting to receive the objection letters from the Batang Ai and Engkili branches today, PRS president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum has also confirmed that the party has not accepted Jugah’s membership application.

“The groups are objecting to his (Jugah) actions during the last State Election. We don’t mind when he won as an independent candidate the first time. That’s the past. He was our former (PRS) member who resigned from the Engkilili division uncontested,” he told a press conference after a meeting at the party’s headquarters at Jalan Wan Alwi here today.

Delegations from Batang Ai and Engkilili were also present at the meeting and stated their strong disapproval of Jugah rejoining the party, even if he were to apply for branch membership.

Salang explained that PRS had received Jugah’s membership application some time in February this year, but the party at that time did not accept or consider any membership applications including Jugah’s as the party was due to hold a Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) in April.

“So we have not considered his application and his first application which I am well aware of was that he wanted to become a direct member of the headquarters (Supreme Council).

“But I said, since he represents a constituency, there are committees in the divisions so let him apply to get the proposal and support from the divisions from which he is supposed to be under,” he said.

As to whether there was advice or pressure from GPS over Jugah’s application, Salang responded with a firm “no” and revealed he did however seek advice from Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg who has left the matter to the party to decide.

For the record, Salang explained, the party’s late president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing had instructed the party secretary-general to write to Jugah to advise him to join PRS.

“But he (Jugah) never responded and the last word from Tan Sri (Masing) was that since he (Jugah) was not interested in joining us, we don’t pursue it anymore.

“We leave it at that and now we concentrate on positioning Roy Gingkoi (PRS Engkilili chairman) to be ‘exposed’ to the area (Lubok Antu). That’s how things have developed and this is the truth of what was going on and let there be no confusion about it.

“We have just asked Roy to go down to the ground to get exposure and the people will come back to tell us whether Roy is suitable or not to be their elected representative,” he added.

Salang also disclosed that PRS will hold its Supreme Council meeting very soon to discuss important matters, but a date has yet to be fixed. — DayakDaily