Bidayuh reps hope for at least one deputy minister from community in federal cabinet

Dato Henry Harry Jinep

KUCHING (Dec 6): It would be good if at least one Bidayuh MP from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was appointed as deputy minister in the new federal cabinet under the ‘Unity Government’ led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

This was expressed by state Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Henry Harry Jinep when met recently and asked about the Bidayuh representation in the Anwar-led federal administration.

He said although the new federal cabinet had welcomed in five MPs from GPS, holding full ministerial portfolios including one as a Deputy Prime Minister, many Bidayuhs had expected one MP from the community to be appointed at least as a deputy minister.

In this respect, he opined that Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot was very unlikely to be made a deputy minister, in that he (Riot) had been a full federal minister during the Barisan Nasional (BN) era, and was also a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to East Asia during the previous administration.

“Mas Gading MP Mordi Bimol is also unlikely to be appointed a federal deputy minister because the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who is Stampin MP is more senior than him in the party.

“Now minus these two, the only person left is Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin, who has been there as a federal deputy minister. He (Willie) has the experience. He is a young Bidayuh leader, with proven track record and leadership.

“We all hope for the Puncak Borneo MP to be given the trust to lead the Bidayuh community, based on his strong vote-majority. He has the quality and capability to represent the Bidayuhs in the federal cabinet,” said Harry, who is Tasik Biru assemblyman and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) vice-president.

Under the previous Perikatan Nasional-led federal administration, Willie was the deputy minister of plantation industries and commodities.

Miro Simuh

Expressing similar sentiments, Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh also agreed with the proposal of having at least one MP from GPS to be made a federal deputy minister.

“I can’t say or speculate any further, other than I think it’s good if any of them (Bidayuh MPs in GPS) got to be chosen; at least the Bidayuhs would have a representative in the ‘Unity Government’ cabinet,” said Miro, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth chief.

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