The BN-friendly grave digger

From left: Engkilili assemblyman Johnichal, Nicholas, Robert Pasang, independent Tambat@Jugah Muyang, and Batang Ai assemblyman Malcolm Mussen Lamoh on nomination day in Lubok Antu recently. — file photo


Recently, DayakDaily featured a commentary on a smart politician. A strategist. A guy by the name of Datuk Joseph Entulu who seems to calculate every move he wants to make. A strategist, he doesn’t jump into deep waters without asking questions first.

Then there is United People’s Party (UPP) Youth chief and Engkilili assemblyman Johnichal Rayong Ngipa who appears to be not as smart. Rumours on the ground are that Rayong is supporting and throwing all his weight behind Pakatan Harapan-Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PH-PKR) candidate for Lubok Antu Nicholas Bawin Anggat. While DayakDaily has mentioned before that smart politicians always need to leave their options open for every political move he/she makes, Rayong does not seem to play by this rule.

This is not the first time Rayong has strirred things up in Lubok Antu politics. In the past, he openly threw his support behind former Lubok Antu MP Datuk William Nyallau Badak to be renominated to defend the seat before the latter was sacked from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) along with Entulu and three others for going against the party’s decision. So it seems Rayong is still trying to influence the political scenario in Lubok Antu.

A tuai rumah on the frontlines of the 14th general election (GE14) campaign trail told DayakDaily that Barisan Nasional (BN) people on the ground tried yesterday to negotiate with Rayong and get him to change his mind. The result? Rayong refused outright. So although Rayong wears a blue shirt, he appears to be a red devil inside.

Meanwhile, BN-Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (BN-SUPP) candidate for Sibu Datuk Andrew Wong Kee Yew only wears blue and not yellow because now he is a true, blue BN man. Who needs yellow poultry when you have your blue army running around doing all that is necessary for you to win the Sibu seat?

With Rayong making his allegiances clear, he is also digging Andrew’s grave. How is that so? The hushed talk within insider circles is if Rayong sabotages BN’s candidate in Lubok Antu Robert Pasang Alam, then the blue-shirt wearing Dayaks might just pull out their election machinery from Bawang Assan, the state constituency held by Andrew’s father Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh who is also Second Finance Minister and UPP president.

According to some, the move by PRS to pull out their assistance for Andrew in the Iban dominated Bawang Assan state constituency might be a good idea, as now PRS needs to concentrate their resources in terms of election machinery and manpower in Engkilili, Lubok Antu to better support Robert Pasang.

What Rayong has up his sleeve is anybody’s guess. The fact that his actions can be construed as undermining BN as a whole is another story. Whether he is aware that in his attempt to kill Robert Pasang’s chances in Lubok Antu, he is also indirectly sabotaging his political boss’ son, Andrew in Sibu, is also debatable. At the same time, he is also committing political suicide as Papa UPP will not be happy that his son’s future is being put at risk by a small-time state assemblyman by the name of Rayong. To every father, the fact that a son is indispensable can never be refuted. Blood is always thicker than water.

The interesting question is, will the whole of BN just sit back and watch while everybody knows that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is looking forward to making his mark as a BN champion by wresting back as many seats as possible for BN? — DayakDaily