Former deputy rural and regional minister Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe backs the call for a Bidayuh to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib.

Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe

However, Dr Tiki, who is also the National Service Training Council chairman, however, ruled himself out as he was “happy with the National Service in moulding today’s youth to be future leaders”.

“It’s the prime minister’s prerogative. We cannot push.

“But with Sarawak to hold its state election soon, the voice of the Bidayuh grassroots must be given some consideration as every community would like to have their own representative in the cabinet in order to have easy access to the top leadership,” he said at the Kuching International Airport here after receiving 81 National Service (NS) trainees from the 7/2010 series who arrived from Kuala Lumpur here.

Dr Tiki was the first Bidayuh to be appointed as a deputy minister and served two terms before being dropped from the cabinet after the 2008 general election.

The Mas Gading member of parliament was responding to questions on Bidayuh community leader Datuk Peter Minos’ call that a member of parliament from the community be appointed to fill the vacancy created by Sulaiman of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), who quit effective Dec 14, citing personal reasons.

The Bidayuh, the fourth largest community in Sarawak, after the Iban, Chinese and Malays, are represented in Parliament by Dr Tiki (Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party), Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit of PBB in Mambong and Datuk Richard Riot of the Sarawak United People’s Party in Serian. — Bernama