SUPP can win Bukit Semuja. No need for direct candidate

ELECTION TALK: Two things about the new state seat of Bukit Semuja need to be put straight.

One, relates to words that have been making their rounds that it would be contested by a BN direct candidate, and two, the appeal by the Remun Ibans that BN should pick a candidate from the community.

Now first thing first.

When I asked why Bukit Semuja should be contested by a direct candidate, none could offer me any reason other than that it could very well be that Chief Minister Adenan Satem had decided so.

I find this unacceptable for the sole reason that, by Adenan’s own qualification, Bukit Semuja does not merit being contested by a direct candidate.

I thought the chief minister is clear where he wants to field direct candidates – in seats where Sarawak United People’s Party and United People’s Party, and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party SPDP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) cannot agree.

Bukit Semuja does not involve UPP and Teras, and it is not being eyed by SPDP.

Only two parties woo Bukit Semuja – Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and SUPP.

Unfortunately, PBB has been technically knocked out of the race because Adenan insists PBB take just five of the new 11 seats, and Bukit Semuja is not among the five.

That leaves only SUPP, which means Bukit Semuja is not any problematic seat. The party that should be given Bukit Semuja is as clear and as sure as the sun that rises in the east and sets in the west.

Why therefore is this talk about Bukit Semuja to be contested by a direct candidate when SUPP qualifies and should be given the seat?

Is it to deny SUPP its share of the new seats when PBB has got its five, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has got its share of two seats, leaving the remaining four seats to be divided equally between SUPP and SPDP?

SUPP has candidates who are as winnable, if not more winnable, than those other names that have been bandied around as suitors of Bukit Semuja. And Adenan must stick to his decision to allocate the new seats in the BN’s spirit of power sharing.

On this score I must repeat myself, that Bukit Semuja, which is within Serian parliamentary seat where MP Richard Riot reigns supreme, SUPP is more than capable of winning it for BN.

In the last parliamentary election Riot not only won in all polling districts with big majorities, but won even in polling stations where BN lost in the last state elections!

Clearly, there is no need to think of fielding a direct candidate in Bukit Semuja unless PBB wants the seat and is resorting to this devious strategy – field a direct candidate and when he wins he will ask to join the party.

I really don’t believe PBB is such a scheming, selfish party when it had never been such a party all those years it was led by Abdul Taib Mahmud.

PBB had always played fair and won seats in very transparent manner, I cannot see Adenan, a very fair and transparent leader himself, wallowing in politics of deceit.

Now that’s the first issue; the second is about the Remun Ibans who said Bukit Semuja should be given to the community “in view of the large number of members of the Remun ethnic group across Serian Division, which has a total population of 14,000 and more than 8,000 voters”.

According to them, the population of Iban Remun in Serian is about 14,000 — second largest after the Bidayuhs.

Now, let’s be very clear about all these statistics.

There may be 14,000 Ibans who may be identified to have Remun root in Serian Division. These Ibans are mostly found in Kampung Semukoi, Kerisik, Sarawak, Antayan, Liun, Keropok, Linsat, Muboi, Junggu Mawang and Sepan.

But as to 8,000 Remun voters, this point needs clarification.

Serian Division has a population of about 159,000, of this figure Bidayuhs make up about 49% (77,910), Chinese 20% (31,800) Malays 18% (28,620) and Ibans 12% (19,080).

Now, why 19,080 Ibans is because there are Ibans who settle in the mid-Samarahan basin, the majority of whom belongs to the Sebuyau sub-tribe. Villages here include Soh, Raeh, Seruit, Segenam, Sungai Turong, Bintawa, Bedega, Merang Lama, Merang Baru, Sungai Bari and Pati.

In other words, if there are 8,000 Iban voters in Serian Division, not all these voters come from the Remun sub-tribe.

And if we zero in on Bukit Semuja, Iban votes are only slightly more than 1,700 and strictly confined to Triboh polling district which is made up of Kampung Lebor, Remun, Merakai, Tun Razak, Sg Buluh, Triboh, Belimbing, Kula, Nyabah (all Iban kampung).

Triboh polling district also includes the Bidayuh villages of Lunggo, Merang and Merian and the mixed areas of Semuja Camp and 44th Mile.

The figures speak for themselves, it does not need any expert to see the kind of misinformation that can actually mislead the state BN leadership into making a wrong decision.

Adenan needs to be told of the real political situation in Bukit Semuja, those in the position to advise him should not attempt to paint a dark picture of the new seat to complicate a simple truth about how the seat can be won.

The fact is, Bukit Semuja can be won fair and square by the BN through SUPP without the dubious strategy of fielding a direct candidate or the confusion caused by faulty statistics.-The Ant Daily

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