SIBU: Incumbent Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang has called upon Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) supreme council member Nyempah Sabot and his followers to not hold a rally in Julau tomorrow to lobby for the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidacy for Julau in the next parliamentary election.
Speaking at a meet-the-people session in Rumah Angget Nuing in Nanga Bilaguai, Sungai Merurun near here yesterday, Salang said although PRS had announced that he would defend the seat in the coming polls, there would still be hope for Nyempah, as the top BN leadership had yet to make the final decision.
“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as the (respective) federal and state BN chiefs, have yet to finalise the BN candidates.
“Although PRS has submitted my name, anything can happen until nomination day. This can be a possible health issue on my part, although I do not have any such problem now. The PM or CM may reject my candidacy.”
Salang advised Nyempah not to be confrontational in lobbying for Julau; instead, he (Nyempah) should work with him (Salang) in the run-up to the election.
“It is not too late for him to join me in my walkabouts to prepare for any eventuality.
“But as it is now, the more he antagonises the party with his actions, the harder it will be for him to be accepted as the candidate.”
Salang pointed out that he was not against anyone, including Nyempah, in lobbying for the Julau seat.
“But this must be done through the party, which is the right channel. As a matter of fact, I certainly welcome anyone, especially any of those very qualified young party members to be the candidate here.”
Salang added that if Nyempah’s followers thought he should be the BN candidate, then they should see the prime minister personally.
Taking a swipe at former Pelagus assemblyman Larry Sng Wei Shien, who had announced that he would stand in Julau, Salang said if he (Larry) really wanted to be an elected representative, he should consider contesting in a Chinese-majority constituency.
“Is it because both he and his father (former Julau MP Datuk Sng Chee Hua) think the dignity of the predominantly-Iban voters here can easily be bought over?
“This is another big reason why I am so determined to defend this seat – to defend the dignity of the local voters.”
Salang reiterated that Julau, an Iban-majority area, should be led by an Iban so that the rights and welfare of the community could be safeguarded better.