Victory for Doris last piece to complete GPS representation in Iban-majority Sri Aman

Dato Sri Doris Sophia Brodie, GPS-PRS candidate for P202 Sri Aman.

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DATO SRI Doris Sophia Brodie, a promising up-and-coming leader in Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), will be the last piece of the puzzle to seal P202 Sri Aman’s status as a Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) stronghold and clear the way to accelerate the constituency’s development should she emerge victorious in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The three State seats which make up P202 Sri Aman, namely N30 Balai Ringin, N31 Bukit Begunan and N32 Simanggang, are currently in the GPS fold, represented respectively by assemblymen from the coalition’s component parties — Datuk Snowdan Lawan (PRS), Datuk Mong Dagang (PRS) and Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (Sarawak United Peoples’Party).

Though the trio has done well in serving their constituents and bringing in development, Doris said only an elected MP from GPS will complete the picture.

“We must not only have the GPS State assembly members, but we must have a GPS parliamentarian (for Sri Aman) to ensure the success of more development for P202. That is why we must win and have a GPS representative in P202 Sri Aman,” she said.

While the Sarawak government has already set up the Sri Aman Development Agency (SADA) to spearhead a development master plan effective until 2030 for the area, she is urging voters not to flush opportunities for a better Sri Aman down the toilet.

She gave her word to not only claim and acquire projects and development allocations for local communities, but also to be the voice of Sri Aman in the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of Parliament.

Clockwise from top left: Doris, Harden, Mong and Snowdan.

Multi-faceted leader

Doris, 61, was appointed as a Senator before making history as the first Sarawakian and Iban woman appointed as Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Negara in Malaysia. She was appointed to the position on Jan 26, 2012, after two years as a member of the Dewan Negara.

In 2016, she was appointed as a political secretary to the Sarawak Premier (then Chief Minister), a duty she has diligently carried out til this day.

In PRS, Doris leads its Women’s wing, a responsibility which has enabled her to listen closely to the hearts of women, especially since she is a woman and mother herself.

As someone with a big heart, Doris does not mind spreading her love. Nine years ago, she agreed without question to become the foster mother of a newborn baby girl, Doris Konsil, from the Iban longhouse of Nanga Ukom in Batang Ai, after the late PRS president Tan Sri James Jemut Masing helped the baby get her first bottle of milk with the help of his staff and a helicopter. The newborn was subsequently named after Doris.

Little Doris (centre) with her father Konsil Bungkong (right) dan Tr Guyu. (file photo)

Doris Sophia Brodie, who wears many hats, is also known by various names. Snowdan calls her the ‘Iron Lady’ of PRS and Ngemah assemblyman Anyi Jana calls her the ‘golden goose’ which can bring golden opportunities to Sri Aman.

Her capabilities and vast experience in politics are vouched for by GPS top brass including Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice-president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and GPS secretary-general Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

Before Masing’s passing on October 31 last year, the late leader had personally named Doris as the PRS candidate for Sri Aman, tasking her to be the caretaker of Sri Aman, a traditional seat of PRS.

PRS deputy president Datuk Majang Renggi, Senator Rita Sarimah Patrick Insol, and Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang are also strong supporters of Doris’ candidacy, believing in her ability to wrest back Sri Aman.

No stranger to Sri Aman

Doris, whose family roots lie in Undup, Sri Aman, is popular among grassroot leaders because to them, she is no stranger.

Penghulu Mingging Sigan from Batu Lintang Undup said one of the reasons why he and the people of Undup support Doris is because of her origins in the Iban-majority Sri Aman.

“She (Doris) is originally from Undup, Sg Tanduk. She is not a stranger to us all and she is reliable. With this, I call on all 32 ‘tuai rumah’ (longhouse chiefs) under me to support her and vote for her,” he told DayakDaily recently.

Mingging also lauded GPS, under the leadership of Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, for being a stable and dependable State government which has been working hard to develop Sarawak, including the rural areas.

Meanwhile, Tuai Rumah Winston Mupit Juna from Kampung Sungai Besai Asal said only GPS could elevate the livelihood of the locals.

He exhorted longhouse residents to forget their differences and work together to strengthen GPS for the sake of their children and grandchildren’s future.

Community leaders Tuai Rumah Rose Emma, Tuai Rumah Lina Busang and Kapitan Ling Siew Hung all voiced support for Doris because they see Doris as experienced and capable enough to bring development to Sri Aman.

“We must support her fully so that she can have a voice (for Sri Aman) in Parliament, and hope that she will bring development,” said Rose.

On the campaign trail in Sri Aman, Doris has told her voters that she envisions developing Sri Aman into a food basket region because of its fertile land.

She said the ripple effects such as improvement in road infrastructure, and water and electricity supplies will then follow when Sri Aman is economically vibrant.

“Don’t miss out on this development. It is only another eight years or so (until 2030) when we become on par with other divisions,” she said.

Plunging into Sri Aman’s grey areas

It will not come as a surprise if you find Doris unreachable by phone on some days for the past two weeks because she is determined to go all out to visit every nook and cranny of Sri Aman before the 14-day election campaign period ends at midnight on Friday (Nov 18).

Undeterred by the fact that there are 19 polling districts in Sri Aman, she is dead set on visiting all her voters, including those in the grey areas of the constituency.

She said there are more than 50,100 electoral voters registered in Sri Aman, and she wants them to exercise their right to vote come polling day on Nov 19.

Since November 2019, Doris has been on the ground visiting the 520 longhouses and residential areas in Sri Aman. Even throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, she stayed close to the people.

Doris (right) greeting a vegetable vendor during a visit to the Simanggang community market.

Come voting day on Nov 19, voters in P202 Sri Aman will have to decide between Doris, Tay Wei Wei from Pakatan Harapan (PH), Wilson Entabang from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), and independent candidate Datuk Masir Kujat, the incumbent MP.

From 2008 to 2019, Masir was Sri Aman MP under Barisan Nasional (BN), until he resigned from PRS to join PSB but later quit to become independent.

This will be Doris’ first time being fielded against political veteran Masir who has had a comfortable stroll to victory in three electoral battles in the past with majorities of over 4,000 votes against numerous challengers.

Will PRS’ golden goose emerge as the winner this election, setting a milestone as the first Iban woman parliamentarian? The decision is yours to make, Sri Aman. — DayakDaily