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BN ‘unsettled’ over SPDP, SUPP crisis

 | January 10, 2012

The five elected representatives who quit SPDP to declare themselves 'BN Club' members have put the coalition in a predicament.

KUCHING: With parliamentary election fast approaching, Sarawak Barisan National must prioritize the crises in Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) or face losing all 11 parliamentary seats held by these parties.

“The threat is even bigger than the threat posed by Pakatan Rakyat,” said a SPDP leader who refused to be named. At stake for BN is 11 parliamentary seats.

Last Friday four SPDP’s elected representatives announced that they have quit the party. The four are Tiki Lafe, (MP for Mas Gading) and assemblymen Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru) Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau) and assemblywoman Rosey Yunus (Bekenu).

They join their colleague, Sylvester Entri (Marudi assemblyman), who was sacked from the party in November last year following a two-year long strive with the party.

The five have now set up a BN Club to prepare themselves for the coming general election.

With them gone, SPDP is now the smallest party within the state BN coalition with two state assemblymen – party president Willian Mawan and Wong Judat (Meluan) and three MPs – Jelaing Mersat, (Saratok), Jacob Dungau Sagan, (Baram) and Tiong King Sing (Bintulu).

While Mawan is steadfastly maintaining that the seats allocated to the party belong to the party no matter what, it appears that he and SPDP are certain to be on a collision course with the five.

Said Mawan: “Elected representatives who resigned or sacked cannot hijack the party’s seats which are allocated by Barisan Nasional.

“The manner and their action through which the four elected representatives quit the party on Friday is a disgrace to BN.

“They cannot defend their seats as BN candidates as the seats belong to the party and not to them individually,” he said.

‘Only a miracle can save SUPP’

Mawan accused them of being self-serving and arrogant.

“I hope they realize what they are doing. Just because there are four of them, they should not think that they are superior to SPDP and can hijack the seats from both the party and BN,” he said.

He reiterated that the four’s exit will not only destabilize the party but will also affect the BN as a whole, in view of the growing influence of the opposition in Sarawak

In a predicament too is SUPP’s seven parliamentary seats .

Looming ahead is the possibility of SUPP being de-registered following complaints of irregularities and manipulations in party branch elections last month.

According to Sarawak BN-leader party PBB, “only a miracle can save SUPP”.

“Many think that only a miracle can save SUPP. SUPP’s troubles have been highlighted in the national papers and in the internet causing them (BN leaders) to worry about SUPP,” said PBB information chief Peter Minos.

The turn of events is a cause of concern for state BN secretary general Stephen Rundi.

“I personally think this event is a sad day for the state BN because now we are setting a precedence into the unknown,” he said alluding to the five setting up a BN club.

He said that the state BN will call for a meeting soon to discuss the five’s political future.

Predicament over ‘BN Club’

Topping their agenda will be the matter of the “BN Club’ which the SPDP 5 have declared that they are members of.

“Though the BN is registered as a political entity, its members are made up of the BN component parties and not individuals. Although not with SPDP, the five are still BN elected representatives.

“They are BN men elected on a BN ticket,” he said.

Rundi said the concern now is the precedence that their actions will set.

According to him the club would not only undermine SPDP and SUPP but it will also jeopardise the spirit of understanding and consensus that has prevailed in the Barisan Nasional for the past 48 years or so.

“If every time there is a crisis in any BN member party, the disgruntled members would quit the party and are allowed to apply to be direct members of the BN.

“And if that continues to happen, things can go haywire in BN and can cause it to crumble,” said another political analyst.


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