Sunday, November 28

‘Pelagus not open for talks’


Masing insists seat should be PRS’, even if incumbent joins SUPP

Dato Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING: Pelagus seat is not open for negotiations even if the incumbent Larry Sng were to be accepted into SUPP, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Masing said yesterday.

He insisted that the Iban-majority seat belonged to PRS based on the current seat arrangement of the state Barisan Nasional (BN).

“If SUPP wants to accept Larry (Sng), that is their business. PRS has no objection. After all, Larry is not a member of PRS

“But please take note that Pelagus is PRS’ seat. It is not negotiable,” he said when met after he officiated at the Sarawak Masters golf tournament at Kelab Golf Sarawak (KGS) here.

Masing was asked to comment on yesterday’s newspaper reports which quoted SUPP president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan as saying that SUPP would consider admitting Sng, who is now partyless, if accepted by the people.

Sng, once with PRS, was sacked in 2007 following insubordination. Despite his partyless status, Sng, 31, is an assistant minister holding three portfolios.

While his party does not object to Sng joining SUPP, Masing, who is also Land Development Minister, stressed that Pelagus seat should stay with PRS.

He pointed out that Sng, if accepted into SUPP, should instead stand in one of the eight seats which SUPP lost in the 2006 state election.

While Masing did not pinpoint which seat, it happens that one of the seats is Chinese-majority Meradong which is the birthplace of Sng’s father in law Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing which was lost to the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in 2006.

“If SUPP thinks Larry is critical to its administration, there are eight seats in SUPP where Larry can contest. After all he has been described as a young Chinese leader … Let the Chinese decide his fate, not the Dayak voters,” he said.

Dr Chan had said in Miri that any decision on Sng depended on the support of the people and could not be done by him or the party leadership alone.

“If I accept him, it does not mean that the people would accept (him). I want people who are accepted by the people on the ground,” said the deputy chief minister after the presentation of education aid from Miri Chinese Charitable Board to 200 students on Friday.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on Friday night also sent a cue apparently directed at SUPP by saying that capable people need to be brought in as candidates in the next state election.

“(Even) if they are not party members, as long as they support the government, as long as they got something to contribute, bring them in (and) get them to be candidates,” said Taib, who is state BN chairman during the Hunyuan Hexiang Zhuang Qigong anniversary dinner also in Miri.

Meanwhile, political secretary to the prime minister Datuk Mohd Shafee Abdullah was the special guest invited to the Sarawak Masters yesterday.

The tournament was held in connection with recent sixth anniversary celebrations of PRS.

Sarawak Masters, sanctioned by the Sarawak Golf Association (SGA), was held for the first time this year.

In the past two years, it was known as PRS Classics.