KUCHING (Nov 23): Political veteran Datuk Peter Minos believes the decision of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) senior leader Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong to not seek re-election will not affect the coalition’s chances of winning all the eight Bidayuh majority seats.
He said that as long as the right candidates are picked by GPS, there is no problem for GPS to make a clean sweep of the eight seats.
“Bidayuh voters vote both for party and candidate in all the eight seats but giving 60 per cent weightage on the candidate. If a wrong or unwanted candidate is put even in a safe seat, as what happened in the last general election in Puncak Borneo, something can go wrong for GPS.
“GPS top leaders must be very careful in choosing a credible and winnable candidate in Bidayuh areas. Hearing out reliable local community leaders in the know in selecting the candidates is most desirable,” he said.
Manyin, who is also Education, Science and Technological Research Minister, had disclosed today that he is not defending the Tebedu seat after representing the constituency for five terms or 25 years.
According to speculations, the new face expected to replace Manyin as GPS candidate is either a political secretary to the chief minister Dr Simon Sinang Bada, former Tebedu district officer Raymond Achen, former Sabah Customs deputy director Dr Alim Impera or current Serian district education officer Charlie Ungang.
Manyin, who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice president, had cited his advancing age among the reasons for not defending the seat.
Minos, who is formerly PBB deputy information chief, said there should not be a problem for PBB to win Tebedu because the party is well established in the constituency,
“There is no shortage of good, credible and winnable candidates there,” he added.
For Opar, he said the incumbent Ranum Mina of Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) will most certainly seek to defend his seat but Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) will fight to get its ‘original’ seat too.
“Now it is mentioned that PBB may be keen too in Opar, no doubt because many locals in Opar have interest for PBB to take over. That’s what I have been hearing, being a local there and being former PBB Opar chairman.
“It is for PBB and SUPP to talk it over and see how and go for a happy compromise. No problem here for GPS,” he said.
On Tasik Biru, he said Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) will be defending the seat while PSB and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had indicated interest to grab the seat.
“From what I see and hear, I think PDP will be alright but it will not be an easy fight and definitely not a walk in the park. History has shown it so. Tasik Biru has been a very hot seat all this while,” he said.
He also foresees PBB will face PKR and maybe PSB in the seat of Serembu but he believes the incumbent from PBB has been active and working very hard there all this while.
“It will be alright for PBB here in Serembu.”
For Tarat, he said PBB has not much of a threat from the opposition as the PBB network is said to be pretty good and intensive there.
As for Mambong, he said at the moment PBB looks set to nominate a candidate there.
He explained that the incumbent there had moved from SUPP to PSB before defecting to PBB.
“Now is for PBB and SUPP to sort things out in Mambong. It is said around in Mambong that, between PBB and SUPP both in GPS, the majority Bidayuhs there are tilting more to the Bumi- based party that is PBB.
“GPS is noted for having maturity and wisdom, and thus making happy and good compromises. So, no big problem here in Mambong.”
As for Kedup, he said it is a safe seat for PBB and the opposition will not pose a big threat there.
“Like Tebedu, Kedup is a PBB stronghold and bastion,” he said.
He said another seat, Bukit Semuja, is another PBB stronghold but he believes the incumbent has to work harder to win over the big Chinese voters in Serian town and surroundings there.
He pointed out the opposition, especially Democratic Action Party (DAP), will take this as an advantage to try and dislodge PBB.
“GPS must take note that the opposition, despite everything, will fight to win and will throw in everything to attain victory, and so GPS cannot and must not be complacent and take it light and easy,” he said.