Sarawak Politics : Former Telang Usan assemblyman may contest in next election

Former Telang Usan assemblyman Kebing Wan looks set to contest against the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the constituency during the coming state election.

This is because he was often seen moving around to various Iban and Kayan longhouses in the constituency.

Just last Friday night, he was accompanied by Sarawak National Party (SNAP) president Edwin Dundang Bugak on a visit to Rumah Lansam, Sg Dabai about five km from here where they held a dialogue, purportedly well-attended by the longhouse folks.

On Saturday night, Kebing visited and held a meeting with the people of Long Panai in Tutoh Region.

He also claimed to have received encouraging response when visiting several longhouses in Upper Baram and Lio Mato.

Kebing, a well-known figure in this constituency, served as a political secretary to the Chief Minister for about 16 years and a chairman of PBB Telang Usan before joining the opposition. In the 2006 state election, he stood on a SNAP ticket but lost to BN candidate and incumbent Lihan Jok in a three-cornered fight for the seat. He managed to garner 1,822 votes while Lihan obtained 4,593 votes. The other contender, Independent candidate Lidam Janang managed only 144 votes.

Known for his never-say-die attitude even though defeated in previous elections, Kebing won the Telang Usan seat when he defeated political secretary to the Chief Minister Robert Laing Anyie in the 1998 state election.

Besides Kebing, there are rumours that another Orang Ulu businessman will join the fray. Reliable sources said the coming state election will see a keen fight in Telang Usan.

Winning Belaga would be a breeze — Entulu

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) is upbeat about winning the Belaga state seat comfortably in the next state election.
Its deputy president Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun said this was because major issues facing Belaga folk had been substantially addressed.

The issues already addressed include compensation to longhouses affected by the building of the Bakun hydroelectric dam project, payments for new longhouses and the Native Customary Right (NCR) land.

“This time we are very sure we will win very comfortably,” he told The Borneo Post and Utusan Borneo when met at Sibu Airport yesterday.

The three-cornered fight in the 2006 state election saw PRS incumbent Liwan Lagang winning the seat by a 227-majority.

He garnered 1,855 votes against independent Stanley Ajang Batok’s 1,628 votes. The other contender, John Bampa, from the Sarawak National Party obtained 912 votes.

“Thanks to the assemblyman (Liwan) and Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo for their initiatives to address the problems. They had also brought up issues to the relevant authorities,” Entulu said.

On a related matter, he said PRS was intensifying its preparations to face the 10th state election.

“Special focus is on Pelagus and Tamin constituencies,” he revealed.

It has been widely speculated that the election, which must be called by July next year, would be called after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Besides Pelagus, Tamin and Belaga, other PRS-held seats are Kakus, Balai Ringin, Baleh, Batang Ai, and Bukit Begunan.

The party lost Ngemah to the opposition in the 2006 state election.

Entulu said the party planned to organise major events at each state constituency soon.

“The first of such event will be at Rumah Nyawin at Mile 36 in Sibu/Selangau Road. This area is under Tamin,” he said.

“In Pelagus, our information chief Wilson Nyabong Ijang has visited many longhouses.

“On my part, we have organised barbecue sessions with senior government officers and community leaders to explain to them the current political scenario in Pelagus.”

Entulu, who is Selangau MP, has words for those lobbying for candidacies in Pelagus and Tamin seats.

For Pelagus, the candidate will be a local who is born and bred in Pelagus. For Tamin, as usual, the priority is given to the incumbent. But should there be a need for change, we are also ready.

“We have a specific person in mind.

It is important for the leaders to consider geographical representation in choosing the candidate for Tamin,” he said.

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