"Najib should have been well-advised to take care of the Dayaks" - PRS Vice President YB Datuk Joseph Salang
Salang rejects post, saying it does not serve Dayaks
thestar KUCHING: Datuk Joseph Salang stands firm by his decision not to accept the Tourism Deputy Minister’s post, saying that it would not serve the pressing needs of the Dayaks well.
He said it was a known fact that the rural communities of the state needed various infrastructure and rural development more than anything else.
As such, for rural-based PRS, which had delivered all six of its parliamentary seats with convincing majority, to be offered posts relevant to its constituencies left much to be desired.
“Maybe there were some misinterpretation by the Federal Government somewhere. I’m not sure,” Salang said to reporters after attending PRS supreme council meeting at its headquarters in Pending here yesterday.
He said there was nobody to blame and the people should not accuse the Federal Government of not being serious in looking after the well-being of the Dayaks.
“I can only say that there could have been a disconnect ... in the sense that what we aspire to be, why we want to be members ... it could have been misinterpreted somewhere. Maybe, what the Federal Government did had been misinterpreted by us. Or maybe that’s probably what we deserve?
“I’m not hoping for anything for myself. But I sincerely hope for the right representation for the party and the Dayaks in general. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should be wise enough to know what the Dayaks really need.
“The least I expect is that Najib should have been well-advised to take care of the Dayaks, and not to look at us as just part of the flower arrangement.
“We are there to help because what we are planting now will grow and bear fruits later. If we don’t do it now, what would happen five years later? What would happen in the coming state election? Those are the things we have to be mindful of,” said Salang.
He said he only knew of his appointment during the announcement on the 5pm news on Thursday.
He said initially both he and Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun were appointed deputy ministers.
However, after they consulted their president Tan Sri Dr James Masing, they were advised not to attend the rehearsal of the swearing-in ceremony to show their displeasure and at the same time not to embarrass Najib and the Agong.
“Masing also sent Najib an SMS saying that Entulu and I would not attend the rehearsal and the swearing-in ceremony because we refused to accept the posts.
“Only then did Najib call Masing to ask him to persuade us to attend. But our president told him (Najib) that we refused to attend because we were appointed deputy ministers only. Najib then agreed to give Entulu a minister’s post in his office,” said Salang.
He said he did not mind giving up his post, as what was important was that Dayak leaders should be given opportunities to serve their people.
“It need not be me. Look at it this way, PRS has six MPs and SPDP has four. Is it adequate when Najib gave us only two deputy ministers’ posts and eventually in Entulu’s case, there was some begging by the party before he was offered a minister’s post,” said Salang.