Pakatan Rakyat does not want another Perak situation in Sarawak and is confident about its candidates,
KUCHING: Former PKR youth vice chairman Granda Aing’s supposed exit will not affect the six Bidayuh seats, a state party leader said.
Dr Christopher Kiyui said all six Bidayuh candidates will ‘stay with PKR’.
“We have credible candidates for the Bidayuh constituencies, and they have a very good chance of winning the six seats,” said Kiyui who has been nominated by the party to contest in the Tebedu constituency.
His opponent is likely to be the incumbent Michael Manyin, the state minister of infrastructure development.
Kiyui was asked to respond to media reports of Granda leaving PKR for Sarawak National Party (Snap).
Granda, who was from PKR Bau division, was reported as saying that more Bidayuh professionals and intellectuals would follow him resigning from PKR and joining Snap.
However Kiyui today responded by stating that he and other Bidayuhs will remain in PKR.
Also present with Kiyui were PKR vice-president and candidate John Tenewi Nuek, Peter Atok and Boniface Willy Tumek.
Former ambassador Tenewi has been selected to contest in Tasik Biru, most likely against incumbent Peter Nansian of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, while Atok, an engineer will contest in Tarat. Tarat incumbent is Roland Sagah of PBB.
Willy Tumek, a former bank manager, has been selected to contest the Opar seat.
Two other Bidayuh candidates, Willie Mogin for Bengoh and Alex Saben for Kedup, were not present as they were busy on the ground.
“We have to work very hard, because we cannot afford to lose any of the Bidayuh seats,” he said.
Kiyui said Pakatan Rakyat must win comfortably in the state election because they do not want Perak situation to repeat itself in Sarawak.
“I have told the kampung people that they should not waste their votes on any candidate who is contesting outside the banner of Pakatan Rakyat.
“Our main agenda is to win this election and we are putting the best candidates, who if elected, will speak for the rights of the people and who have ears for their problems,” he said.
He lamented that the current Bidayuh representatives – three MPs and six assemblymen – have not spoken for the rights and the freedom of the people.
“None of them have spoken on our religious freedom and defended against the seizure of the Bahasa Malaysia Bible. This freedom is our basic right.
“I am very concerned about religious freedom. I am very concerned about the standard of our health services which is going down and so is the standard of education. I am also concerned with the political intervention.
“Sick people cannot reach the hospitals because of bad roads and mothers are dying giving birth because of the poor health services,” he said, pointing out that after 47 years under the BN rule what development is there for the people.
“The minds of the people are opening up now. We have good gatherings in the kampungs. I think the time has come for a change,” he added.
Granda back at PKR
In another development, Granda today said that he had not left PKR and remained “part and parcel of PKR’s struggle”.
“I am still with PKR and who says that I am joining Snap,” he said today, pointing out that the story of him joining Snap was made up.
He however remained quiet when told that his statement on his intention to join Snap was tape-recorded.
FMT learnt that Granda had to back track after he was ‘fired and bombarded” by some professionals and intellectuals for planning to join Snap.
Meanwhile, Snap secretary-general Stanley Jugol said that Granda had met them a number of times expressing his desire to join the party.
“But we treat him lightly because we know he does not represent any body, even though he tries to project himself as a Bidayuh leader.
“He has no followers and does not command the respect of the Bidayuh community,” Jugol said, adding that his returning to PKR was a non-issue.