Why did Entulu decide not to contest?

Datuk Joseph Entulu. - file pic


Ah well. The cat is out of the bag. The news is out. Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun today finally announced that he is not contesting, in this Parliamentary election, as far as Selangau is concerned, that is.

While Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Masing and his lieutenants have booted Entulu and gang out from the party, the end is just the beginning. In politics everything is about strategy and one of the oldest strategies is to wait for the correct ‘timing’.

While many people are surprised Entulu has chosen not to be in the running for Selangau, some political observers are not surprised at all. For one, in the event Entulu contests, it would have to be as an independent in order to contest against a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate. This is a ‘no-no’, unless you want to become like former state assistant minister Larry Sng who has been politically abandoned after having contested against BN. The strategy of claiming oneself as BN-friendly while going up against a BN candidate has been used once too many.

In this aspect, Entulu has certainly recognised and learnt that a ‘char kway teow’ tactic will only produce a plate of ‘char kway teow’, and not steak. As Entulu is going for ‘steak’ he will certainly not be making the same mistake as other political nomads.

Not contesting would leave him the opportunity should he ever want or have a chance to come back into the BN fold. In politics, you ‘do not chop off your own future options’. Like the Chinese proverb, Entulu is leaving himself plenty of wood to chop in the future. “Liu de Ching Shan Cai, bu pha mei chai sau’ which means ‘so long as the green mountains are preserved, there will be no shortage of firewood’.

By not contesting, Entulu at the same time can evoke sentiments of anger against Masing amongst his own supporters. This is probably the reason why Masing has been receiving the brunt of attacks over Entulu’s expulsion from PRS although the decision was made by the party’s Supreme Council. The upswelling of anger will no doubt serve as a cohesive point for all his supporters to come together. With so much anger within the group and Entulu not contesting, the anger will not doubt be directed at Masing and PRS, and all focused on defeating Rita Insol the BN-PRS candidate in Selangau.

As there is no love lost between Entulu and Masing, Entulu’s supporters in their objective to see PRS fall, will naturally opt to vote for the contender who is none other than state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian. With the goal so clear, the possibility of split votes amongst opposition supporters will no longer happen, which otherwise would have happened if Entulu had chosen to contest.

Speaking about contenders, what happens behind the scenes, nobody knows. Although Baru choosing to contest in Selangau came as a surprise yesterday, but it may be no longer a surprise anymore with Entulu’s announcement of not contesting. With Baru contesting one-to-one against PRS, Baru is now a convenience like the Chinese proverb, ‘jie dao sha ren’ which means to ‘lend somebody a knife so he/she can kill’ which literally means to get somebody else to do one’s dirty work, to attack someone by using the strength of another.

While we are talking about proverbs and strategy, this brings us to the fourth reason. Should Entulu contest as an independent, his future will be bleak. This is especially so if he has any plans to complain to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) and challenge the legality of his sacking. He would want to ensure that in the event he wins, he can still return to PRS with his integrity intact as a true blue BN man. Only then will the members not shy away from him as a leader. We are talking about all the PRS Parliamentarians and state assemblymen who want to remain in PRS because they choose to remain in BN.

So in summary, Entulu is a good strategist who made his plans carefully so he could have his cake and eat it too! However, all remains to be seen as Masing is also an experienced strategist who, like the Hokkien saying goes, ‘has seen big snake sh*t’! — DayakDaily