Kajeh among many suitors of Bukit Semuja seat

Stanley Sila

Stanley Sila

KUCHING: The new seat of Bukit Semuja, carved out of Tebedu and Kedup seats in Serian, is said to attract a lot of suitors wishing to stand as candidate especially under the Barisan Nasional banner.

The name most mentioned as a potential candidate for the constituency nowadays is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Tebedu treasurer Gabriel Kajeh Menggu, who is also Serian District Council (SDC) councillor.

The 63-year-old from Tebakang is said to have already been going to the ground to meet the people at functions in the constituency,

and at a recent event in Kampung Sorak Dayak he was even introduced as ‘bakal calon BN’ (BN candidate in waiting).

Kajeh is a political veteran in the area, as he has been involved in campaigns in both state and general elections since the 1990s.

There are also talks that PBB Youth vice chief Stanley Sila is also among the several BN aspiring candidates for Bukit Semuja despite hailing from Tarat Sibala which is outside the constituency.

His close acquaintances said Stanley, who also serves as SDC councillor, might not personally come from the constituency but his wife is from Kakai, one of villages under the new state seat which makes him no stranger to the area.

Stanley, 45, when contacted dismissed such talk as mere speculation but did not rule out the possibility of taking up the challenge if chosen by the top leadership.

“At the moment these are all speculations but what I can say is if given the chance I will take up the challenge because politics is all about doing service to the people.

“Anyway, let us just leave it in the hands of the top leadership to decide who to pick as the candidate based on their own assessment and judgment,” he said.

Meanwhile, a political observer said Bukit Semuja was known to be either black or grey zone for BN in the past and therefore it would not be an easy seat.

“So for BN to win it has to pick the correct and best candidate who has clean track record with long experience in politics. The person must be someone who is able to win the hearts of Chinese voters who contributed the second highest after the Bidayuhs.

“Bukit Semuja has 13,192 registered voters from six polling districts, including five formerly under Kedup namely Triboh (2,464 voters), Selabi (3,323), Pasar Serian (2,552), Kakai (721) and Serian Ulu (1,213) and a polling district formerly under Tebedu which is Sedihan (2,919). So basically the majority of the electorates are Bidayuhs followed by Chinese, Iban and Malays.”

Therefore, he said, for BN to win the seat the candidate should secure at least 40 per cent of the Chinese votes or else it would be dangerous because of the split in Bumiputera votes as was always the case in the past.

Others apart from Kajeh and Stanley also tipped to be the potential BN candidates for Bukit Semuja include PBB Tebedu vice chief and SDC deputy chairman Dr Simon Sinang Bada, PBB Kedup vice chief Mohd Jofaizal @ Joseph Entup, teacher Eli Untai, Miri-based Bernard Philip Lanat (51) and the latest being Alexander Ganyang a private secretary of Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications Dato Sri Michael Manyin.

There are also talks that several senior civil servants were also mentioned as the potential BN candidates.

Initially, former three-term Kedup assemblyman Datuk Frederick Bayoi Manggie (72) was also named as one of the potential candidates but it was heard that “his name was somehow struck out from the list”.

Last Friday, his strong supporters held a press conference at his (Bayoi) house in Taman Pasir, Serian to urge the BN leadership to consider taking him (Bayoi) citing his track record as Tarat and Kedup assemblyman for 25 years and his approachability as his strong points.

It is also learnt that a BN interim committee has been formed and tasked to assess the Bukit Semuja ground to find the most winnable candidate, and Bayoi was said to have voiced his frustration at being left out as a committee member.

The seat also attracts the interest of opposition parties – DAP and PKR. The deputy chief of PKR Serian branch Reginald Abel is tipped as PKR potential candidate for Bukit Semuja while DAP is said to be fielding either its DAP Serian chief Edward Luak or its deputy Bunsin Kalun.


Source: http://miri.my/2016/01/08/kajeh-among-many-suitors-of-bukit-semuja-seat/