By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, June 16: Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said he will still be the ‘captain’ of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) for the eight Bidayuh majority seats in the coming state election due by 2021.
The eight Bidayuh majority seats are Tebedu, of which he is the incumbent, Kedup, Bukit Semuja, Tarat, Mambong, Serembu, Tasik Biru and Opar.
“For this coming election, yes, I will still be the captain. I still lead them. It doesn’t matter after that. As far as the state election (is concerned), I will still be the minister and I will still lead,” Manyin told the media at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) ministers’ Gawai open house held at the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) headquarters here today.
On his own candidacy, Manyin, who has been Tebedu assemblyman since 1996, said it is up to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to decide.
“As for Tebedu, it’s up to CM. It’s his prerogative. But I’m old enough,” he said in jest.
When asked whether these eight seats are considered safe, Manyin answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, we can deliver all the seats. The Bidayuh community will go through GPS this time around. Before this we used to say through Barisan Nasional. For us to win the seats, we must have the ‘semangat’ (spirit) to win. If we don’t have it then it’s difficult to win,” he emphasised.
On the current incumbents, Manyin is also leaving it to the Chief Minister to decide about their candidacy, as two of the Bidayuh elected representatives are from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), which is not a component party of GPS. The two are Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Mambong) and Datuk Ranum Mina (Opar).
“As far as I know, there will be no new faces because they are still there. But it’s up to CM because I’m not in the position to make any decision; also, with our two PSB leaders. It’s up to CM to resolve the issue. I believe that he has his own strategy to resolve it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manyin said the greatest challenge facing the Bidayuh elected representatives now is from Pakatan Harapan.
“PH is now a more formidable force to reckon with as they have the backing of Putrajaya. Now they are more daring and open. So, they will go all out.
“In order to win, we really have to come up with our own strategy because facing them (PH) is now our greatest challenge in this coming election,” he added. — DayakDaily