Saturday, January 29

Scorned ex-wives could ruin ‘Randy’ Rayong’s political career

(This story has appeared in Free Malaysia Today on Jan 24, 2011 and is reproduced for the readers of The Broken Shield)

KUCHING: Are conversions and polygamy the new political ball game in Sarawak? It appears that a rising number of political aspirants and have-beens are rumoured to be converting from Christianity to Islam to better their chances of currying favours with Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, who allegedly discriminates against non-Muslims.

Whether this new game plan will work for them in the coming state polls is left to be seen. But political observers are betting that a number of Barisan Nasional candidates “will fall” in the polls for these very reasons.

Meanwhile, the “hottest” gossip to hit Kuching streets is Engkilili state assemblyman Johnical Rayong’s recent conversion. Most of his constituents were in shocked disbelief at his conversion that is until his angry wife, Patricia Dexter Sudok, a Christian staff nurse in Kuching, spewed her angst.

She reportedly leant of her husband’s infidelity, marriage and conversion from an SMS message he sent her.

According to the reports, Rayong was caught for “khalwat” and was forced to marry one Kamasiah Abdul Jalil, a divorcee in her 30s with two children, who works in the chief minister’s office.

Rayong had apparently converted on Jan 29, 2010. (was it coincidence then that partyless Rayong who had waited four long years outside Taib’s door was suddenly accepted into the fold in 2010, courtesy of Sarawak United people’s Party whose decision to take him in has cost them dearly?)

Deceiving the Dayaks

The story gets better, Patricia also said that Rayong had been harassing her to return and campaign alongside him as a “Christian couple” in order to mislead his Dayak voters.

Rayong and apparently quite a few other “new converts” such as Mambong MP James Dawos Mamit and Marudi assemblyman Sylvester Enterie are seeking to conceal their new status from their Dayak constituents.

Dawos, incidentally, is Deputy Tourism Minister and Enterie is an Assistant Minister in the Sarawak cabinet.

All this is more fodder for the opposition, it appears. In the case of Rayong, who seems to have a cup-board-full of “skeletons”, he may have lost it all even before the race. According to a SUPP leader, the party is uncomfortable with Rayong’s “history” and is re-assessing his candidacy.

“The voters in Engkilili are not against him converting to Islam. Far from it. In fact, Christians and Muslims in Engkilili sit side by side in coffee shops or restaurants. They also visit each other during Hari Raya and Christmas celebrations. They always live in harmony.

“But they do not like him because he failed to inform them (of his new status) as well as his failure to look after his two Iban wives,” said the leader who refused to be named.

Rayong, he claimed, has neglected his two families. His two wives were said to have complained to Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Numpang. They alleged Rayong had failed to come “home” for the past three months or so. His first wife, Patricia, is related to Jabu.

So angry and disappointed are his wives that they are prepared to campaign against Rayong if he does defend his Engkilili seat.

Besides his scorned wives, Rayong will also have to contend with issues over the authenticity of his degree “as a medical doctor” and his political track record.

His opponents have claimed that Rayong is only a doctor of homeopathy, but had presented himself as a medical doctor and opened up a clinic where he dispensed medicines and treated patients.

They alleged that when the authorities demanded for his certificates, Rayong closed shop. It has also raised questions about his integrity.

In the 2006 state election, Rayong won the Engkilili seat on a Sarawak National Party (SNAP) ticket. During his campaign, he attacked BN coalition partner SUPP and its candidate Jonathan Krai Pilo.

But less than a month after his win, Rayong declared that he was independent and a BN-friendly representative. His angry supporters called him a “political frog” who is only interested in his own personal affairs.

He subsequently applied to join an off-shoot of SNAP, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) led by William, Mawan Ikom. His application was initially accepted in 2007, but faced with strong opposition from SUPP and Taib’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), he was forced to resign.

There was also a time when he wanted to join Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) if the Engkilili seat was to be given to PRS under a swapping arrangement with SUPP. But that arrangement failed to materialise and as a result, he lost interest In PRS.

SUPP reassessing Rayong

In the meantime, Rayong had applied to become a SUPP member and for two years he was left waiting. Then suddenly in September 2010, SUPP approved his application, much against the wishes of majority of its members.

The SUPP’s decision resulted in the resignation of the Engkilili branch chairman and the former five-term elected representative, Toh Heng San, from the party.

But by joining SUPP, Rayong has left behind at least 60% of his supporters who were either members of SNAP or the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and supporters of the stillborn Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) of which he was the protem deputy president.

In fact, his supporters are still angry with him for switching parties as they had voted him in on a SNAP ticket. Many SUPP members in Engkilili, too, may not vote for him as they consider him a “frog” that has upset their branch leaders including Toh and Krai.

After more than 20 years as elected representative, Toh has a strong following not only among the Chinese, but also among the Ibans in Engkilili. Toh and Krai’s supporters will certainly not vote for Rayong for his criticisms against SUPP and for neglecting the welfare and interest of the Dayak community during the last election.

Today, Rayong joins the party that he had severely condemned. In September, when accepting Rayong into SUPP’s fold, the party president George Chan described him as the most “suitable”candidate to represent the party as he was not only close to the people, but also popular with the rakyat.

Now, in the wake of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s brazen command to give him “only winnable candidates”, Chan is being forced to acknowledge Rayong’s weaknesses and eat his own words of the latter’s “suitability” as Engkilili 2011 candidate.


Apai Semalau said...

How is it possible for Yb. "Randy" to look after the interests of his constituency when he can't even look after the welfare of his wives?
Out of curiosity, how many of our BN Ybs. don't cheat on their wives? How many keep mistresses in their closets? Figure that out.......that shows the moral standard of our state representatives.

Brangking Kilau said...

We must reject any candidate with little or no integrity or honesty and those who are tainted by sex, corruption or scandals. If a candidate betray his family and his own principles, he would most probably betray the party and the constituents once he is elected.

We must get rid of political frogs once and for all. We cannot allow political frogs from either Barisan or Pakatan Rakyat to make a mockery of democracy.

I am not a member of any political party, but when voting to exercise my constitutional right, I will vote for the candidate of my choice be it from Barisan or Pakatan Rakyat - a candidate who I believe is an honest politician; a politician who does not mislead the people.

SK Subramaniam said...

Politicians like Johnical, Dawos, Slyvester have no intention to serve the poor Dayaks. The poor rural folks are a big burden to them but necessary to elevate their political ambition and to enrich themselves hopefully through the corrupted system of UMNO controlled BN. Where do they get the extra money to finance their lifestyle of keeping mistresses?

A deputy minister from SUPP was also discovered for having an illicit affair with a married woman from Batu Kawa. She has since given birth to a child. When the top leadership of BN are running our nation to the brink of bankruptcy, these BN YBs chose to screw themselves crazy so they saw no evils, spoke no evils and heard no evils.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Muslim converts are winable candadite as they belong to the bird of the same flock as UMNO-PBB

tuai bilik said...

You can stand as an independent or from the opposition party. BN will open its door for you if you are elected on condition that you have BN in your heart. That was how Rayong was admitted to SUPP.

Anonymous said...

To me there is nothing wrong to convert to other religion or married more than one if you can afford it. But for christian or other natives they were not allowed though I know few more Dayak YBS are having more than one and other mistress, these of course will lead to corruption and abuses of power inorder to survive.