KUCHING (Bernama): Tan Sri James Masing was an undisputed voice of the rural people, especially for the betterment of the Dayak community, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
The Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister described Masing, who was Deputy Chief Minister II and state Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister, as a strong and loud Dayak leader who always advocated for their meaningful participation in the government to empower the community.
"A longhouse boy from the interior of Baleh who, through education, had made it to the top in the state political leadership by sheer determination, dedication and a sense of service to the rural community and Sarawakians as a whole," he said in a statement Sunday (Oct 31).
He said the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president also had empowered them through the politics of consultation and mutual respect and meaningful participation in the government from Barisan Nasional (BN) previously to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) now.
Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan also expressed his sadness, saying the passing of Masing would be greatly felt by every member of the state Cabinet.
He said Masing was a firm, brave and vocal politician when fighting for the people’s rights, even during his days as a member of the Opposition bloc at the state level.
"We were very close and his death was most unexpected. I'm very sad. My family is also close to his. Condolences to his family," he told reporters in Lawas Sunday.
State Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi, in a statement, said the departure of his "boss” came as a great loss not only for the ministry but also the people of the state and the nation.
"On behalf of the MIPD family and staff, I convey our condolences to his family,” he added. - Bernama