LUNDU, Feb 11 — The father-in-law of Rapelson Richard Hamit, the opposition PBDS Baru candidate contesting in the Tanjong Datu state by-election, says he personally does not approve of Hamit contesting against Barisan National (BN) candidate Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu.
Galau Galih, 54, a longhouse chief with 19 families following him in Kampong Temalan Dayak near here said he believed Rapelson, 31, was hoodwinked into contesting.
He said he had to make a stance because he is a member of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the same party that Jamilah represented.
“I do not want people to just brand me as anti-government just because of my son-in-law’s action which is his own choice,” he told the media here today.
According to him, he was not aware of Rapelson’s plan to contest until the last minute.
“I am quite shaken and regret his decision. Had I knew earlier I would have dissuaded him from contesting and of all the places, in Tanjong Datu.
“But since it has happened, I want to call on voters to support Jamilah as only the government could help the people, especially on Native Customary Right (NCR) land issues which Rapelson is exploiting in his campaigns,” he said.
Galau, a commercial oil palm plantation participant himself, said such issues should be left to Dayak leaders in the government and Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had pledged to look into it and find amicable solutions.
“The same goes to other issues like the lack of opportunities for Dayaks in the civil service and so forth,” he said.
Galau said although Rapelson had chosen a different platform in politics, this would not affect the family ties in any way. — Bernama