KUCHING: The recent statement by Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik that the three Bidayuh MPs should stand aside and give way to younger candidates does not seem to go down well with the community.
A Bidayuh community leader for Kuching, Pemanca Austin Dimin, said he totally disagreed with Ik Pahon, pointing out
that age should not be a barrier for the elected representatives to continue to serve.
He said to his understanding the three Bidayuh MPs had been serving the people well and were not too old to serve.
The trio whom Ik Pahon reportedly said should stand aside during the next general election are Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit (Mambong), Datuk Richard Riot Jaem (Serian) and Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading).
Ik Pahon was also quoted as saying “probably it is high time for them to get younger people to take over from them”.
“If you ask me whether I agree with him (Ik Pahon) on this particular issue, I say I don’t agree even though he is DBNA president,” Dimin said in a telephone interview.
“Whether you are young or old, what is of utmost importance is the ability, capability and desire to serve,” he said, noting that both Riot and Dawos had been doing well in serving and delivering projects to the people.
Saying he could not say much about Dr Tiki as the latter’s constituency was outside his jurisdiction, Dimin nonetheless acknowledged that Dr Tiki had also done an excellent job in serving his constituents.
“All the three MPs being in the Barisan Nasional (BN), have a personal relationship with the federal BN leaders and they can deliver…there is no point getting someone new if he or she cannot deliver,” he stressed.
On another note, he said there was no point for someone to hold a post if he or she could not serve, adding that he himself will call it a day if he feels he can no longer serve the people.
He advised Bidayuhs to be practical and smart when choosing their elected representatives.