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By Peter Sibon
SERIAN, Dec 27: Serian MP Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem has quashed rumours and speculation that he would stand in the upcoming state election but insisted that he would if he is required.
“In politics I want to focus as a Member of Parliament for Serian. But if in last minute I’m required, why not? If I think I can contribute why not?,” he told DayakDaily at his house in Kampung Pichin here yesterday (Dec 26).
As a former deputy federal minister and full-fledged federal minister, he added that coming back to serve in the state would be an honour.
“I have been attending functions and visiting kampung since Gawai festival. And every weekend I’m occupied. So politically speaking, I’m back but I will focus my duty as an MP for Serian, nothing more, nothing less. If not, I will fail if I don’t perform,” he said, adding that he was now moving almost on full swing after recovering from his sickness.
Other than Riot, other MPs from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) who have been speculated to contest were Progressive Democratic Party (PDP)’s president Dato Sri Tiong King Sing, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB)’s senior vice-president Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof and PBB’s secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
On the eight Bidayuh majority seats, Riot stressed that GPS has to work extra hard to defend them.
“We cannot under underestimate the strength of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) as they are the government of the day at the federal level.
“This is especially so, as we have seen in the last general election when we lost two of our three Bidayuh majority seats,” he said, referring to Mas Gading which was won by Mordi Bimol from Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Puncak Borneo was won by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s Willie Mongin.
Currently, five state seats under these two PH-held areas are Opar and Tasik Biru under Mas Gading constituency as well as Serembu, Mambong and Tarat under Puncak Borneo constituency.
Among these eight seats, six are under PBB, namely Tebedu, Bukit Semuja, Kedup, Tarat, Mambong and Serembu; Tasik Biru is under PDP and Opar is under Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), a former GPS-friendly party, which has turned into a full-fledged opposition party.— DayakDaily