SIBU – He may have served as a mufti in a state across the South China Sea
but Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya has never lost touch with his roots in the deep
interior of Jemoreng, where he is standing as a Barisan Nasional candidate in
the Sarawak state election this Saturday.
And to him, the faces in the constituency are, more often than not,
“Alhamdulillah, our campaigining is very aggressive. All the residents here
are either relatives, neighbours or friends since I was small,” said the native
of Kampung Igan in Matu, which comes under the Jemoreng constituency, located
about 70km from here.
“I am going down to the grassroots to get their feedback and suggestions
besides asking them to continue supporting the BN,” the former Mufti of Perlis
Asked what were the challenges he was facing since entering the political
arena, Juanda, who was a deputy mufti for three years and mufti for six, said it
had its own pecularities which were a stark contrast with the religious field.
“As a religious figure, the issues were more of the academic type but
politics is about meeting the people’s needs,” he said, adding that he wanted to
continue the BN’s tradition of bringing development to rural areas.
He said the people in Jemoreng were already enjoying the benefits brought by
the initiatives taken by Sarawak BN led by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
“Since Tan Sri (Adenan) took over as chief minister, he has been very
focused on developing rural areas and I as a new candidate, welcome his efforts
because I am from a rural area,” he added.
Dr Juanda, 45, is also a former fellow of Oxford University, United Kingdom.
Jemoreng will see a three-cornered fight with the other candidates being
Kiprawi Suhaili of Amanah and Abdullah Saminan, an independent. The constituency
has 9,699 registered voters.
In the last state election in 2011, Abu Seman Jahwie from BN won in Jemoreng
with a majority of 2,926 votes. He beat two independent candidates, Asbor
Abdullah and Abdul Hafiz Noh.