Sunday February 17, 2013
Let Najib pick the best man
By VANES DEVINDRAN
BAU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will decide on who will best represent Barisan Nasional in the Mas Gading parliamentary seat in the coming general election, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Aware of the ongoing political squabbles over the candidacy of the seat, he said Najib would determine who had the better chance in winning the seat.
“If this is the state elections, then I’ll choose my own candidates as the Prime Minister will allow me (to do so). But this is the parliamentary elections and he’s (Najib’s) going to lead the Federal Government, so leave it (the decision) to him,” he said at the Mas Gading Chinese New Year gathering at the Civic Centre here yesterday.
Currently, two camps are nominating their own candidates to defend the Mas Gading seat on a Barisan ticket in the coming elections. Both camps are staking claims that their candidates had the better chance to represent Barisan.
The seat is traditionally allocated to SPDP and the party has nominated Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) deputy general manager Anthony Nogeh Gumbek to replace incumbent Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, who was expelled from the party following a conflict with the party’s president Tan Sri William Mawan.
Dr Tiki, who is now partyless had joined four other former SPDP leaders who also faced the same fate with him, to form the Sarawak Barisan Club or more popularly known as the Group of Five (G5).
The G5, which openly declared to be Barisan-friendly, had insisted that Dr Tiki was still a winnable candidate and should be retained to defend the seat under Barisan ticket.
Taib in his speech acknowledged the G5 as being supportive of Barisan. The chief minister also appeared to be not taking sides as to whether the choice of candidate should be from SPDP or the G5.
He said he knew both sides were supportive of Barisan, adding there was no doubt about it.
However, the final decision would rest with Najib, he added.
Taib expressed confidence that Najib would find a good Bidayuh candidate who had a good chance to come up in the future to be the candidate for the seat.
The gathering was hosted by the Chinese of Mas Gading with the support of the three elected representatives in the area including Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie and Opar assemblyman Ranum Mina. Nansian is together with Dr Tiki with the G5 while Ranum is from SUPP.
Also present were top Bidayuh leaders, namely Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin, Public Health Assistant Minister Dr Jerip Susil, Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Datuk Wilfred Rata Nissom and businessman Henry Jinep.