PRS may field woman in GE14 — Masing

Masing (centre) and women members including Doris (behind Masing) gesture during a photo-call.

Masing (back row, ninth left), Doris (back row, eighth left), invited guests and other PRS members including seminar participants during a photo-call.

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing yesterday strongly hinted that he would likely field a woman as the party’s candidate in the coming general election (GE14).

“I have not given up hope yet in putting a female candidate in the coming PRU14 (GE14). PRS is not and should not be a men-centric party,” he said when closing the two and half-day PRS Women Exco Teambuilding and Teambonding Seminar at the Eastwood Valley Golf Resort in Miri on Sunday night.

“The sooner our PRS men understand it, the stronger we become and the less surprised our PRS men will be when that happens. I urge the male voters wherever and whenever it happens to support our woman candidate,” said Masing, who is Deputy Chief Minister and Baleh assemblyman.

Since PRS is also a party for women, he urged their male counterparts not to be suspicious of women canvassing for support in the next few months at their respective constituencies.

“If PRS is for them, then let us men not be suspicious of them, and let us give them the positions they so deserve,” he said.

Pointing out that PRS needs its women members to assist all of its six MPs, he said he had authorised PRS Women chief Dato Sri Doris Sophia Brodie and all of members of the wing to ‘wander around’ the six parliamentary constituencies in the next few months.

“In politics, PRS is very men-centric. PRS has 11 state assemblymen and six members of Parliament. PRS doesn’t have a single woman YB.” he said.

Masing claimed that Dayak society, half of whom are men, tend to look down on the other half or regard them as second class citizens.

“Thus when positions are vacant, we look around for men to fill them up. When positions in politics are vacant, we tend to look for men to be nominated as candidates. When women are wandering around our constituencies we become suspicious of their presence. But when extra help is required, men do not hesitate to seek women’s assistance,” he said.

He stressed that it would be a political blunder for men to assume that they do not need women’s assistance in elections.

PRS has been plagued by the sticky issue of not being able to field women candidates in the past elections.

However, the party managed to ensure than its women have roles to play in nation building, hence Doris was appointed as senator and deputy Dewan Negara (Senate) speaker. She is currently a political secretary to the Chief Minister.

Masing said he treasured loyalty to the party and delivery of election promises as the two virtues of PRS.

On the seminar, Doris said it had met its objectives.

“Most importantly, we were able to identify and agree on our shared values which are loyalty, teamwork and commitment. We also realised that all this while, Dayak women are acknowledged and recognised for their

quantity but not quality,” she pointed out.

‘However, we pledge and strive to change this perception and mindset because Dayak women, in actual fact, are of equal calibre and capability, if not better,” she said.

A total of 19 PRS Women central committee members took part in the Teambuilding and Teambonding seminar that was facilitated by Jasly Kong and Alvin Mang.

Two invited speakers from Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) namely its president Dr Dusit Jaul and deputy president Noelle Lily Morse also discussed various topics involving Dayak women such as ‘Shaping The Future and The Way Forward’ and on Dayak Women leadership via ‘Challenges And How To Overcome It Accordingly’.

Others present at the closing ceremony were Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, political secretary to the Chief Minister Edwin Banta, PRS supreme council members Alex Donald and Nyempah Sabut and community leaders including Temenggong Tan Kian Hoo.

Source: The Borneo Post

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