Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said GPS is confident of its chances to win all the eight Bidayuh-majority seats in the next state election. — Borneo Post pic

GPS confident of winning all eight Bidayuh-majority seats in next state polls, says Manyin

KUCHING, Sept 14 — Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is confident of its chances to win all the eight Bidayuh-majority seats in the next state election, said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong.

Manyin, who is regarded as the most senior Bidayuh leader in GPS, emphasised that the 2018 General Election has served as a lesson to the coalition to do better to retain and regain the support of voters in those seats.

“For us, we are confident we will win all the eight seats. You don’t look at the past, you look at the future. Whatever happened in the past, those weaknesses can be taken as a lesson in order to make us stronger and better,” he said when met by the media today.

Manyin was commenting on the remarks made by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah that the GPS is ‘a bit worried’ about the eight Bidayuh seats because of the voting trend in the 2018 General Election which saw Puncak Borneo and Mas Gading parliamentary seats falling to the Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Only the Serian parliamentary seat was won by the state Barisan Nasional – now GPS – in the election that year.

According to Manyin who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice president, GPS is now better prepared to ensure the coalition retains the eight Bidayuh majority seats won in the 2016 state election.

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

Manyin, who is also Tebedu assemblyman, emphasised that GPS which was then state BN had won those eight seats quite comfortably including some with big majorities that year.

He revealed that in Tebedu, the majority was 6,193, while in Tarat the majority was (5,421), Mambong (3,333), Opar (2,082), Kedup (3,828), Bukit Semuja (3,144), Serembu (1,397) and Tasik Biru (1,288).

“Even the first timers (debutants in the election) Miro Simuh in Serembu, John Ilus in Bukit Semuja and Dato Henry Harry Jinep achieved comfortable wins.

“We are feeling positive that we will all these eight seats again in the next state election. It is the duty and responsibility of all members of the component parties to ensure this is achieved,” he said.

On another matter, Manyin – who is Tebedu assemblyman since 1996, said he leaves it to Chief Minister and GPS chairman to decide on whether he should defend the seat when the next state election is called.

The 75-year-old, who is now the oldest member of the state cabinet, declined to answer when asked if he would be defending the seat but he indicated his readiness to give chance to a new face.

“That is a good question but a good question for me also for me not to answer. We leave it to the CM,” he said. — Borneo Post