KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has submitted the party’s list of candidates for the upcoming general election (GE14) to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Masing, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, however, only announced endorsement for four of them.
“I have submitted the names of the six candidates. The four I have announced, the (other) two not yet. The two have not had any endorsement from the state assemblymen of the areas.”
“The names of the two which I have submitted, is not for your consumption, at the moment,” he told the press at the prize-giving ceremony of the 10th Sarawak Amateur Masters Open Golf Championship 2017 event held at Kelab Golf Sarawak here today.
PRS holds six parliamentary seats — Kanowit, Julau, Sri Aman, Hulu Rajang, Selangau and Lubok Antu.
Masing has so far announced the candidates for four parliamentary seats: Aaron Ago Dagang for Kanowit; Datuk Joseph Salang for Julau; Datuk Masir Kujat for Sri Aman; and Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong for Hulu Rajang.
The candidates for the two seats of Selangau and Lubok Antu have yet to be announced.
Currently, Datuk Joseph Entulu, who is a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department is holding the Selangau seat while Datuk William Nyallau Badak holds the seat for Lubok Antu.
Masing said the candidates for the two areas have yet to be announced because he has not received any letters of endorsement from the state assemblymen of the state seats under the said two parliamentary seats.
Selangau parliamentary constituency consists of the two state seats of Tamin and Kakus. Both are PRS areas, represented by Christopher Gira Sambang and Datuk John Sikie Tayai respectively.
Lubok Antu on the other hand, is made up of the two state constituencies of Engkilili and Batang Ai. Engkilili is held by Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa from UPP, a BN-friendly party while Batang Ai is held by Malcom Mussen Lamoh of PRS.
“Our process of endorsement is very simple. If the state assemblymen of the areas endorses him, then I will have no choice but to endorse him because these (the state assemblymen) are the people who have the support and the influence.
“To date, for Lubok Antu and Selangau, I have not received any letter of endorsement from the YBs (elected representatives) of the areas especially PRS YBs. So I will just leave it alone for a while and see what happens.”
He said in the case where there is no endorsement from the state assemblymen of the area, he would have to seek the opinion of the state assemblymen as who should be the parliamentary candidate.
On the related issue of certain individuals moving on the ground, Masing did not condemn them as he said this is part of the democratic system.
However, he held the view that the wannabes should not just appear a few months before any election but should have always been going around, serving the people.
For such individuals, he said they should not be looked down upon or discouraged. Rather, they should be left alone to see how well they can perform.
On the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) checking into potential GE14 candidates, Masing said he agrees with it as there is nothing wrong for MACC to look into these candidates.
“MACC may have a better picture of what we do not know. We don’t want to be caught in some areas where MACC has better information than us.
“The worst thing in an election is when a candidate is sent, last minute (it is) found that he has a problem, then we have a big problem,” said Masing who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister.