Life of elected representatives is not rosy, says PRS president


BINTULU: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) President Dr James Jemut Masing has opened up on the frustrations and problems faced by elected representatives.

He said being an elected representative might be the hardest way to help those in need.

“My 33 years as a ‘wakil rakyat’ is a sweet bitter experience for me.

“Your time is not your time. Your home is not your home, your money is not your money, whatever good you do will not be appreciated, to do good is your task, you err once, you will be condemned for life,” The Borneo Post quoted him as saying.

He said this at a dinner held in conjunction with the PRS Fourth Triennial Delegates Conference and PRS’ 12th anniversary at Dinner World Restaurant here on Sunday.

He said whatever positive things elected representatives did would always be criticised. When they did anything wrong unintentionally, or out of ignorance, they would be condemned as useless persons, he added.

“You simply cannot do wrong,” The Borneo Post quoted him as saying.

He said to join the club of elected representatives, politicians would need to withstand criticisms and condemnation, even after trying their best.

They should also be willing to share what they had, willing to sacrifice peace in their homes and the privacy of their private lives, and accept defeat in the same spirit as they accepted victory, he noted.

“It’s the most sought after club and yet the most frequently condemned by the very society which creates it,” he lamented.

He told those present that there was one thing politicians could stop and that was the progression of the years.

“The older we get, the crankier we become and bad temper gets the better of us and the less tolerant we are to differences of opinions.

“Therefore, before we get too old and scare everybody from the organisation, perhaps it is time to say good bye, and let the young people take over the administration,” he added.

He praised the senior leaders for making way for junior leaders to climb the hierarchy which had made his job as the president much easier.

“For those who are waiting in line, please be patient. Just don’t jump the gun and create disunity among us.

“Leaders in our party know what to do and I can assure you that we have kept a close watch over you and to a great extent have made good assessment of your capability as elected representatives.

“So please don’t be too disappointed if you are not selected. Perhaps you are destined for other professions.

“If the door is closed, another door is opened. All it needs is for you to keep your options open.

“For anger will close your option and disappointment will stop you from growing up as possible leaders of our community,” he was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.

A total of 1,070 delegates and observers took part in the TDC which was themed ‘United We Bargain, Divided We Beg’. PRS is the second largest party in Sarawak after Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu with 11 state assemblymen and six members of Parliament.

PRS has 86 divisions with a total of 31,230 members across the state.