Did Sarawak BN secretary-general Dr Stephen Rundi jump the gun when he issued a warning to Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat?
He said yesterday he resigned because of Julau MP and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (another BN ally) vice-president Joseph Salang’s ‘stubborn’ insistence on defending his seat in the next parlaimentary polls.
But some political observers here are of the view that Salang is “not the real reason” behind Judat’s decision to quit SPDP.
According to a PRS leader, Judat had barely a week ago said that he was ” still 100 percent with SPDP” and this was after he had discussed his future with SPDP and other BN leaders.
“But the threat that he would be disciplined coming from the secretary-general of the state Barisan Nasional Stephen Rundi has forced Judat to make the decision to quit SPDP.
“He must have read the warning which appeared in all the newspapers last Tuesday morning,” said the PRS leader, who declined to be named.
Rundi issued a strongly worded statement proposing to take disciplinary action against Judat if SPDP refused to discipline him.
“If SPDP does not do it, then the state BN will have no choice but to step in and possibly take disciplinary action against him.
“At the moment the Barisan Nasional is waiting for SPDP and Wong to make their move before it contemplates stepping in.
“We have not reached that decision, but we will do it. Any unwarranted character will be dealt with by our disciplinary committee,” Rundi said, pointing out that the BN wanted SPDP to ‘discipline’ Judat first.
Rundi said that he did not want the Judat’s case to undermine the BN’s spirit of unity to win the coming general election.
No letter received
Meanwhile, Judat told his supporters and friends in Julau and Sarikei that he has resigned from SPDP and has applied to join the newly registered Sarawak Workers Party.
According to office workers at the SPDP Headquarters, Judat, who is also a SPDP vice-president, came to the office at about 2.00 pm on Tuesday wanting to hand over his letter of resignation.
As there was no senior SPDP member in the office, the office workers refused to accept the letter as they said that they were not authorised to do so.
However, SPDP deputy secretary-general and political secretary to Chief Minister, Paul Igai who was informed of Judat’s intention rushed to the office.
“By the time I arrived at the office he was no longer there. Apparently Judat took back the letter of resignation with him,” Igai said to FMT.
“I don’t know whether he is really resigning or not. As a matter of fact I am preparing a list of minor rural development projects for his constituency of Meluan worth more than RM1 million.
“Judat is expected to announce the projects in the next few days. Somehow, if he has resigned, then the distribution of the projects by him has to be withheld,” lamented Igai.
Meanwhile, PRS president James Masing told reporters over the weekend that he would raise the issue of Judat attacking another BN leader with the state Barisan Nasional, and at the federal level as his action is damaging to the ruling coalition.
“The damage Judat can do to Salang is not much, but the damage to the BN’s principle is greater because he creates precedence.
“You cannot use the BN platform to fight against fellow BN members. This is one of the rules in the BN coalition,” he said, pointing out that no one should be allowed to use the BN platform to show personal discontentment publicly against the leader of another BN component party.
He said that in order to preserve BN unity, action ought to be taken against Judat.
Change of heart
Since the registration of SWP in April this year, Judat has always been seen in the company of its president Larry Sng and Sng Chee Hua, the de facto leader of the party. Sng, who is Larry’s father, has been bad-mouthing Salang.
He alleged that Salang is an outsider to Julau and should not be renominated to represent the constituency any more.
He also accused Salang of neglecting the people of Meluan constituency which he (Judat) represented.
The Meluan seat forms one part of the Julau parliamentary constituency and other part is the Pakan seat which is held by SPDP President William Mawan.
Judat told BN leaders and his supporters that if Salang were to be renominated, then he would join SWP and contest against him. In fact, he has been wearing the SWP uniform.
However on July 30, Judat had a ‘heart to heart’ talk with Mawan and SPDP deputy president Tiong King Sing in Kuala Lumpur and later the three met the federal BN secretary general Tengku Adnan Mansor.
Apparently, he had a change of heart and declared that he “is still 100 per cent” with SPDP.
With Judat’s resignation from SPDP, he is certain to contest against Salang in Julau opening the way for at least a three cornered-fight. The other candidate would be from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.