Don’t give your signatures away easily, longhouse chieftains reminded

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Salang (seated front on the floor, fourth right) surrounded by longhouse chiefs who support his renomination for Julau seat.

SIBU: Longhouse chieftains in Julau have been told not to simply sign and use their official stamps on any document like letters or petitions presented to them by any individual, without truly understanding their contents or purpose.

In giving this advice when speaking at a gathering in Rumah Engkulau Ambrose Jumin in Wong Besi Api, Julau near here yesterday, Pemanca Datuk Janggu Banyang said this was because their signatures could be used against their and the community’s interests and rights.

Also present at the event were Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang and a political secretary to chief minister Maurice Giri.

Janggu reminded all longhouse chiefs that they had very important administrative roles to play.

“You are recognised as a leader by the state government. Thus your signatures and stamps carry some weight. Do not abuse them,” he advised.

Janggu was referring to the recent case where some community leaders were persuaded by certain individuals to give their signatures to support a lobbying petition to replace Salang in the coming parliamentary election.

“We all know for a fact that Datuk Salang has been re-nominated to defend the seat by his party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and its president Tan Sri (Datuk Amar) Dr James Jemut Masing.

“We believe our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, as the state Barisan Nasional (BN) chief, and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as the federal BN chief, had been told of the decision by Tan Sri Masing,” he said.

“So I do not think these people (certain individuals) have any authority or blessing to do any lobbying,” he added.

Janggu said it was not right that those who were lobbying were offering money to persuade the chiefs to support their agenda, while even claiming to have Najib’s support.

He suggested that those who had signed the documents to apologise to Salang and his officers on the ground.

On another note, Janggu expressed confidence that BN would again win in Julau and also in other rural constituencies.

“This is because the rural folk are still very comfortable with their BN representatives.

“They do not want the opposition. They still want more developments and progress,” he said.

He added that the situation would be different in urban seats, which were already developed.

In his speech, Maurice said members of BN component parties must abide by decisions made by their respective presidents.

“If we were to dispute them, this could lead to disunity, quarrels and anger.

“Because of these, BN can be adversely affected.” he said.

At the function, more and more longhouse chiefs in the area expressed their support for Salang to continue serving in Julau.