SERIAN: Seventy-five-year-old Dato Sri Michael Manyin is non committal on whether he will defend his Tebedu seat in the coming state election.
“That one is a very good question but a good question not to answer also.
“Yes I am healthy but I am already there for more than 20 years. Already 25 years,” said the Education, Science and Technological Minister when asked after a walkabout at Serian Market yesterday.
The current oldest member of the state cabinet also declined to comment when asked whether he will defend the seat if asked to do so by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Manyin nonetheless said he will still be involved in the coming state election to lead the campaigning for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) candidates in the eight Bidayuh majority areas.
“I will lead, that (to contest again or not) makes no difference. I will still be a minister by that time in the caretaker government (when the State Legislative Assembly) is dissolved.
“It is my role and really my responsibility to lead,” he said.
Manyin, a former educator and principal, has represented Tebedu as their elected representative since 1996.
He successfully defended the seat in the 2016 state election after defeating Alex Saben from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) by 6,193 vote majority in a straight fight.
When asked to share what was his biggest achievement, he said it was the success in getting Serian elevated to Sarawak’s latest administrative division in 2015.
He said Serian would already have its own divisional administrative complex ready by end of this month, but works to complete the project were delayed by the Movement Control Order due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is delayed for another six months,” he said, adding another significant project delayed is the divisional convention centre.
He also said that whatever he had contributed to the state was out of personal responsibility and duty as minister.
“I don’t want to claim all the credits. The credit goes to the people,” he said.
As far as Tebedu constituency is concerned, he said he had managed to achieve 100 per cent electricity coverage and 100 per cent tar-sealed road connectivity, while aiming for 100 per cent water supply coverage by end of this year.
“The only one not fully achieved is full internet connectivity,” he said, adding digital economy potential there has yet to be developed.
He also hoped that for Serian Division to move forward, its agriculture potential has to be developed since it has vast acres of land.
“You have the land, you have the manpower, but you don’t have the market. So, you can plant anything, but the market may not be available like for durian, pineapple and the rest.
“You can plant these a lot, but as long as the market is not available, the people will become frustrated.
“So I hope Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (who is in charge of Agriculture matters in the state) will get Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (Fama) and the relevant agencies to come. Once that is solved, that will be the main industry in Serian,” he said.