Saturday, January 29

After 25 years as Tebedu rep, Manyin to call it a day


Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong

SERIAN (Nov 23): Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong has confirmed he will not be defending his constituency of Tebedu in the upcoming Sarawak election.

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“I have already made up my mind. And the Chief Minister has already accepted it.

“It is official,” he told reporters after officiating at the Serian Education Leadership Colloquium today.

Manyin has been Tebedu assemblyman since 1996.

He has held various ministerial portfolios including his present portfolio as Education, Science and Technological Research Minister.

As Manyin will not be defending Tebedu, the question now is who Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) new face will be for the Bidayuh-majority seat.

In the last state election in 2016, Manyin won by a 6,193-vote majority after defeating Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Alex Saben in a straight fight.

Now 76, Manyin said he has no regrets in deciding to bow out of active politics after 25 years.

“I am not disappointed, I have no regrets. I voluntarily came out, nobody forced me.

“I have said it since last year,” he said, adding age is not in his favour.

Manyin said he looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren and also to work on his farm.

“I want to go and become a free man. And go work in the farm. And be with my grandchildren, I have four grandchildren now. I have a durian farm. In the last durian season, every day about 200 durian fruits were harvested,” he said.

The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice president also expressed confidence that GPS will win all eight predominantly Bidayuh seats in the state polls.

The seats are Opar, Tasik Biru, Serembu, Mambong, Tarat, Tebedu, Kedup, and Bukit Semuja.

“When you are going to play football, the first time before you step into the field, you must have full confidence. So, looking at the past records, the Bidayuh are always with the government.

“And they have seen the benefit from being with the government. During Barisan Nasional’s (BN) time, all the Bidayuh seats were won by BN and they have seen all the benefits they have gotten being with the government.

“So, I believe, in the state election next month, I believe the Bidayuh being more and more educated now, they will not abandon GPS. They will still be with the government. So I am quite confident, the Bidayuh will be with GPS,” he said.

He pointed out the just-concluded Melaka state election showed voters rejecting candidates who were political ‘frogs’ and self-centric.

“In Melaka, not even one ‘frog’ won. Not even one independent candidate won. So I think people are more wise today. They will look at the person who is not self-centric, but community- and party-centric. That means you must be a member of the party and seen with the supporters.

“Secondly, you are also willing to work with the community. Improve the livelihood of the community. I think people are wise today. They are more educated than 20 or 30 years ago,” he said.