Apparent split in PRS Engkilili as two factions claim branch chief’s post

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Handout photo shows Bangkong (seated facing camera, second left) at the TGM, which took place at Engkilili Bazaar in March 2022.

KUCHING (Aug 9): There may be two different factions in the Engkilili division of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) following several recent developments that have cast some questions over the branch leadership.

On one hand, there is a group claiming that Tuai Rumah Bangkong Mawing is the chairman of PRS Engkilili.

“Former deputy branch chairman Tuai Rumah Bangkong is now the branch chairman after the TGM (triennial general meeting) held at Engkilili Bazaar, on March 13, 2022,” said a party insider when contacted yesterday.

This group is also known to be supporting the nomination of incumbent Jugah Muyang as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) candidate for Lubok Antu in the 15th general election (GE15).

Prior to the 2018 parliamentary polls, Jugah had quit PRS to contest as an Independent candidate – and won.

It is said that Jugah intends to rejoin PRS, one of four component parties in GPS, in the hopes of defending Lubok Antu seat on a GPS ticket in GE15.

The group supporting Jugah and Bangkong also argued that 43-year-old lawyer Roy Gingkoi was not the recognised chairman of PRS Engkilili.

“He did hold a separate branch TGM, but it was not a proper one,” claimed the group.

Roy’s supporters, however, are insisting that he is the valid PRS Engkilili chairman, on the basis that their TGM, also called on March 13 this year, had been recognised by party headquarters.

The son of former police senior assistant commissioner Datuk Gingkol Seman Pancras, Roy had served as PRS Engkilili chairman since 2018 after former Lubok Antu MP Datuk William Nyalau Badak was sacked by PRS leadership.

It is said that some branch members are lobbying for Roy to be the GPS pick for Lubok Antu in GE15.

Meanwhile, Bangkong’s group had, on March 3 this year, submitted to the PRS secretariat a petition containing 32 signatories meant to substantiate Jugah’s application to rejoin the party so as to seek his candidacy under GPS ticket for the next polls.

Following his win in Lubok Antu, Jugah joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) only to quit in June 2020 to become a Perikatan Nasional (PN)-friendly independent MP.

He is now the Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman.