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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Nov 3: Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing was never a coward in speaking his mind especially in raising the issues and needs of the Dayak community.
Masing’s daughter Karen Julan Masing who said this also relayed her hope that voices of the Dayak community would continue to be raised by those who could be as bold as her father was.
“I understand that my dad was known to be a man outspoken in issues affecting all communities. He was never a coward in speaking out his mind.
“And I believe that it is his hope that other Dayaks will continue his legacy of being bold and sincere in raising issues and the needs of the Dayak community,” she said.
Karen, who got to spend time by her father’s side in Sarawak end of January this year, said Masing had brought her around his constituency and other places in the State to see the projects he had and was working on.
Masing was proud he was to be able to showcase his work to his daughter, but she said the pride did not stem from a project done, and instead, it was because the people could get to enjoy the basic facilities such as roads and bridges.
One thing she noticed during these visits was that people were always eager to meet her father.
“And the feeling was mutual, when he met them, it was like a father meeting his children, he would listen to them and find out what they needed. And whatever he could do to help, he would. And whatever he couldn’t, he would be very frank with them,” she recalled.
Meanwhile, Karen also extended her deepest gratitude to family members, friends, relatives, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, the Sarawak Cabinet, and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) leaders and supporters, for their presence and help during this time of bereavement and grief.
“Before I end my sharing, I would like to leave with you a favourite quote of my dad — ‘If you love me, I will always remember you in my heart; If you help me, I will always remember you in my mind,” she said, ending her eulogy at her father’s funeral wake at the Association of Churches in Sarawak, Jalan Stampin here today.
Masing passed away on Oct 31 at the age of 72 at Normah Sarawak Medical Centre due to heart complications. His latest Covid-19 test results were found to be negative despite testing positive for Covid-19 on Sept 28.
Following the funeral wake which is to end at 2pm today, Masing’s remains will be taken to Nirvana Memorial Park, Kuching.
He is survived by his wife Puan Sri Dato Corrine Masing, two daughters and a son. He has two daughters from an earlier marriage.
Born on March 5, 1949, Masing served as Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak under the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem and current Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg since May 2016.
He was also the Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development since 2016.
Since 2004, he also helmed Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) as its founder and its first president until his passing.
He held the Baleh seat for eight consecutive terms since 1983. — DayakDaily