SELANGAU, May 4: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) leaders and members are working closely as a tight team to make sure that their candidate for Selangau Rita Insol makes it first past the post in the 14th General Election.
Today, it was the party’s vice-president Majang Renggie, women’s chief Dato Sri Doris Brodie and deputy publicity chief Christopher Gira who hit the campaign trail here with her.
In a typical marathon relay of Iban speeches, all of them delivered speeches and each stressed on different points to explain issues and policies, or to rebut the opposition.
Majang explained that it was a common practice for each party to introduce new faces whenever there was an election.
“For example, PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) has six new faces this election. SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, also six.”
*Another component party, PDP (Progressive Democratic Party) has one new face and PRS, two new faces,” said Majang who is also Samalaju assemblyman while campaigning for Rita at Rumah Julia Awal here today.
The longhouse is about 40 minutes’ drive away from Sibu town and is situated between the township of Stapang and Selangau Bazaar.
Doris, on the other hand, said she was very pleased to see Rita being accepted as the PRS candidate for Selangau.
“This is what PRS women have been fighting for for so many years, and finally, our call was heeded and we have a woman candidate for a parliamentary seat.
“This is the wisdom of our state and federal leadership. Now the ball in in your court where you will have to decide if you want to create history for the Dayak community,” Doris told the locals present who came from near and far.
Gira who is also Tamin assemblyman echoed what Doris said, and urged the people to give their full support to Rita and make her the first Dayak woman parliamentarian in Malaysia.
*This is also in line with the government’s policy to have 30 per cent top leadership consisting of women,” he said.
He said only through ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) will more development be brought into Selangau as the people have been witnessing it.
In Selangau, Rita will face off against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Baru Bian who is also state PKR chief.
A check with some locals revealed that many recognised Baru’s name but had not seen him and did not have any idea what he looked like.
“He has not come to our longhouse, so we have not seen him. However, we think we would want an Iban to represent us, not some outsider,” said a longhouse resident.
On the same subject, Councillor William Rambong said the situation on the ground was not complicated.
“Baru is not a local. He has no relatives in Selangau. He might have come here before for some court cases, but I don’t think he knows the people here, or the people here know him,” he told DayakDaily.
On the movements of former Selangau MP Datuk Joseph Entulu who is also caretaker Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, William said Entulu has not made any move to jeopardise Rita’s campaign.
“He did not campaign against Rita or help anyone. And some of longhouse chiefs who used to be his supporters are also with us today,” he said.
However, another longhouse resident met in Selangau town who wished to remain anonymous said Entulu might not be making any move, many of his supporters however, still bear grudges and would be making protest votes.
Meanwhile, flags, posters and banners as well as billboard of both BN-PRS and Pakatan Harapan-PKR were not that apparent along the road to Selangau Bazaar.
Campaign material was only seen sporadically and for PKR flags, there are even less. What was most surprising is that there were no posters or pictures of Baru at all along the road to Selangau or at Selangau Bazaar. — DayakDaily