SERIAN, Oct 5 — The 12th State Election is likely to be held between November and early part of next year, said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong.

“The next state election is just around the corner. Most probably it will be in November or December this year, or it could be in January, February or March next year,” he said when closing the Tebedu-level Saberkas Sports Carnival at Kampung Jenan near here last night.

As such, Manyin — regarded as the most senior Bidayuh leader in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) — urged the Bidayuh community to continue giving their full support to GPS to remain as government.

The Tebedu assemblyman said the Bidayuh seats have always been strongholds for the ruling coalition and he hoped this will continue in the coming polls where the GPS logo will make its debut.

“Five times have I contested in state elections (since 1996), and in those five elections, all the Bidayuh seats were won when we were in Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Now that we have left BN to form Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), let us maintain this streak and deliver all the Bidayuh seats to GPS government to ensure continuity of development in our areas,” he said.

There are now eight seats considered as having Bidayuh majority namely Opar, Tasik Biru, Serembu, Mambong, Tarat, Tebedu, Kedup and Bukit Semuja.

According to Manyin, most Bidayuh areas though located near to Kuching still have catching up to do in terms of development to be on par with urban areas.

“As far as Bidayuh areas are concerned from Lundu to Serian, almost 100 per cent (of the areas) have electricity, water supply and connected to roads. In Serian, I would say 100 per cent of the villages are linked with good roads.

“But these are still not enough, and more still needs to be done for us to catch up with the urban areas,” he said.

He hoped the voters are now familiar with the ‘manuk tikuan’ (Bidayuh word for hornbill) symbol of GPS, and support the GPS candidates irrespective of which GPS component parties they come from.

He also pointed out that Bidayuhs being the minority, cannot afford to be politically split or else they will miss out on the cake of development.

On another matter, he called on Bidayuh youth irrespective of academic and professional background to be actively involved in activities in their respective villages.

He said Saberkas or Sarawak National Youth Organisation is one of the platforms which they can join and build up their leadership and organisational skills in order to become future leaders.

“Don’t get carried away by idealism, but understand the real situation on the ground,” he added.

He also reminded village chiefs to continue with efforts to protect their respective villages against Covid-19 because the pandemic is not over, and avoid making unnecessary trips to Kuching to prevent being infected with the virus and spreading it to others.

Prior to the function, Manyin also declared open the RM6 million Jenan-Pichin road, and officiated the opening of Kampung Jenan community hall.

Also present were political secretary to the chief minister and Saberkas Tebedu chairman Dr Simon Sinang Bada, senior government department officers from Serian and local community leaders. — Borneo Post Online