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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, March 7: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Supreme Council’s decision on Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang’s application to join the party is for the latter to re-apply through the divisional branch of Engkilili.
PRS secretary-general Dato Janang Bungsu confirmed the application of the independent lawmaker whose submission dated back to February this year.
“After we received his direct application, we discussed the matter at the last Supreme Council Meeting. As a result, it was agreed by members that he should re-submit through the divisional level.
“Until he re-submits through the divisional level, only then we can decide in the next Supreme Council Meeting,” Janang told DayakDaily.
He explained that there are two ways that individuals may apply to be PRS members — through direct application and the divisional branch.
Direct application submission usually involves the application of sitting elected representatives, and Janang pointed out that in the last Supreme Council Meeting, there were approvals of some elected representatives who won in the 12th Sarawak Election last December.
The purpose of referring Jugah’s application back to the divisional level, according to Janang, was to gauge support among divisional members at the grassroots level.
“Jugah’s case is different. He used to be a PRS member, and he resigned. So, he has to re-apply at the divisional level to join again,” said Janang.
Jugah refused to comment further on his application except to leave the decision to the PRS selection committee, which Datuk John Sikie heads.
Jugah left PRS to contest as an independent candidate against PRS candidate the late Robert Pasang Alam in the 14th General Election in 2018. He won by polling 5,834 votes against Robert and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Nicholas Bawin Anggat who garnered 4,775 and 3,942 votes respectively.
After being elected on May 12, 2018, Jugah announced joining PKR, only to leave the party on June 5, 2020, pledging his support for Perikatan Nasional at the federal level and Gabungan Parti Sarawak in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, on February 27, PRS Engkilili Division ‘caretaker’ chief Roy Gingkoi issued a statement claiming that any attempts to bring Jugah back to the party should be discussed first with PRS Engkilili members.
He said some members were not in favour of Jugah rejoining the party.
To Roy, after Jugah won in GE14, Jugah’s joining of PKR after winning the Lubok Antu seat in 2018 showed that the latter was no longer interested in continuing with the PRS struggle.
Roy said that even after Jugah left PKR and an invitation from the late PRS president Tan Sri James Masing to rejoin the party, Jugah chose to remain silent.
He thus speculated that Jugah was attempting to join PRS due to the plausibility of passing the Anti-Hopping Bill, which is now in debate in Parliament. — DayakDaily