JULAU, May 5: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) candidate Datuk Joseph Salang is confident he will defend the Julau seat despite aggressive moves from his opponent, independent candidate Larry Sng.
Salang said Larry’s greatest strength was the strong finances rendered by Datuk Sng Chee Hua, Larry’s father.
“But I am still confident in retaining the seat for BN,” he told DayakDaily.
He said for the last 18 years, he has been serving the constituency whole-heartedly and has been treating all constituents alike, regardless of their race and religion.
“I have treated all people with respect and fairness. I have done whatever I could for the people in my constituency. To me, I have done my best for the people and serve them with all sincerity. I leave it for them to decide who they want to represent them,” said Salang.
He was not surprised when Larry decided to take on Julau this election because he was already expecting Larry instead of Wong Judat to contest in Julau in last general election.
In facing Judat, who was former Meluan assemblyman, Salang managed to keep the seat in a three-cornered fight where he garnered 9,891 votes against Judat’s 3,936 and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Wong Hong You with 2,852 votes.
“Larry might want to stand in Julau because of his father (Sng),” Salang speculated.
Sng was Julau MP but he gave way to Salang in 1999 when both Sngs were still on good term with PRS.
Both Sngs were expelled from PRS for insubordination in 2007. Following his expulsion, Larry formed Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) which he quit in 2016 even though he was the president.
Salang said despite Larry joining forces with Judat, he did not find the duo a threatening team.
“There might even be other hands messing in the area; however, I believe it is not something that state BN (Barisan Nasional) and PRS will find difficult to tackle,” said Salang.
Talking about support from state assemblymen, Salang expressed his gratitude to Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan for granting him support.
“I have known Mawan since 1967 when I was in Form 4 and he was in Form 3. Mawan is a very mature politician. So he decided to join PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu), so be it.
“However, don’t assume that just because he could not be fielded in Saratok, he will sabotage other BN candidates. He is not that low. Don’t compare him with others,” said Salang.
Julau consists of the two state constituencies of Pakan and Meluan.
This morning, PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing came to Rumah Mingan Noel, Sayong, Julau to campaign for Salang.
Masing who is Deputy Chief Minister told residents of the 38-door longhouse to vote for Salang, whom if elected will be recommended to be a full minister by the party.
“If you want your area to have a full minister, vote for Datuk Salang. He rejected (the offer) once to be a deputy minister, and he earned a lot of respect for that decision.
“If you give him support and let him win again, the party will recommend him to be a full minister,” said Masing.
Salang who was a deputy minister between 2008 to 2013, was again offered a deputy minister post after the 2013 general election. He turned down the offer and has remained a backbencher for the last five years. — DayakDaily