More controversy kicks in over 'secret' ties between Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing and his vice-president Mong Dagang.
KUCHING: Sarawak’s Senior Minister James Masing’s defense of Assistant Agriculture Minister Mong Dagang, who is embroiled in a controversy involving a disabled farmer, has spawned an interesting twist.
Are Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president and Dagang, his vice-president, business ‘partners’? It appears so if Registrar of Companies’ document is any proof. Their ‘partnership’ in Noble Rewards Sdn Bhd is fronted by their relatives.
The main shareholders of the company are Dagang’s wife Bawang Anak Deru, Masing’s brother Henry and Masing’s private secretary’s wife Leyta Kupa.
According to online investigative portal Sarawak Report, Noble Rewards Sdn Bhd has been allegedly taking kickbacks from the sale of plantation territories in Sri Aman. Dagang is the state assemblyman for Sri Aman.
The portal revealed proof in the form of a letter signed by Dagang wherein he “makes clear that he is seeking kickbacks from participants in a land scheme’.
The land scheme in question involves 70,000 acres of native customary rights (NCR) land belonging to his own constituents.
The portal alleged that Masing and Dagang would receive some RM70 million in kickbacks in the deal.
Dagang’s fetish for signing letters bearing his ministerial stamp landed him in hot soup earlier this week when a disabled farmer disclosed that Dagang had ordered the agriculture department to revoke his government subsidies and welfare aid because he had openly supported the opposition during the last state election.
The revelation has stirred outrage in Sarawak but yesterday’s reported comment by Masing in defense of Dagang was the ‘icing’ on the issue.
Masing, in defense of Dagang’s actions, had yesterday advised voters to “jangan lawan towkay” (don’t challenge the boss).
Cops quiz Lebi
The opposition yesterday lambasted Masing for his ‘jangan lawan towkay’ comment which they said was a clear reflection of the ‘arrogance’ among senior Barisan Nasional leaders.
Meanwhile ‘someone’ has apparently directed the police in Sri Aman to harass and intimidate farmer Frusis Lebi into revealing how he secured a copy of Dagang’s letter directing the Agriculture Department to revoke his aid.
It was widely reported today that the police have quizzed Lebi.
‘Persecuting their own people’
Meanwhile, in anotehr development, the Dayak Consultative Council (DCC) hit out at Masing and Dagang for ‘persecuting their own people’ for their individual political and financial success.
DCC chairman John Brian said Masing and Dagang have used ‘democracy’ to turn themselves into dictators and now believe that they are bosses and ‘untouchable’.
“He (Masing) believes that it is his rights to be ‘BOSS’ under the democratic principle.
“It is pathetic … now I begin to understand why the Dayaks are not progressing as fast as we should because it is our own very elected leaders, who by their undemocratic thinking are in the way of our progress,” said Brian.
He added that Masing and Dagang have been lucky to have retained their elected seats because poor accessibility to information in the interior.
“Bukit Bangunan and Baleh are a blessing to both of them because of poor accessibility and the radio is only telling lies every day and spreading propaganda to make fools of Dayak listeners.
“But remember there are many well-educated people in Sarawak and within the Dayak community and you (Masing) have slide down from the rank of intellectual to being a court jester and a clown for (chief minister) Taib (Mahmud),” he said adding that Masing’s reasoning on ‘master-servant relationship’ was “totally out of sync” with present times.
FMT Staff |
March 8, 2012