William Mawan says organisers should not have included the clique in the head of state’s birthday parade.
KUCHING: The Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) appears worried that the political statements and behaviour of members of the so-called Sarawak BN Club (KBNS) would undermine the party’s electoral chances in the four parliamentary constituencies that Barisan Nasional traditionally allocates to it.
SPDP president William Mawan indicated this today at a press conference following the party’s supreme council meeting.
He referred in particular to former SPDP figures Tiki Lafe, Peter Nansian, Sylvester Entri, Rosey Yunus and Paulus Gumbang, who attended last Saturday’s parade in Miri to celebrate the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s birthday. They were there under the KBNS banner and took part in the parade next to the SPDP contingent.
The group has claimed the right to contest under BN for the Mas Gading, Saratok, Baram and Bintulu parliamentary seats by virtue of their being BN-friendly.
Lafe is the current MP for Mas Gading. The other four are members of the state assembly. Nansian is the representative for Tasik Biru, Entri for Marudi, Rosey for Bekenu and Gumbang for Batu Danau.
Entri was expelled from SPDP last November. The others left the party last January. However, Nansian, Entri and Rosey still hold their assistant ministers’ posts and Gumbang his chairmanship of the Miri Port Authority. Lafe is the chairman of the National Service Training Council.
SPDP has lodged a police report against their presence at the Saturday parade. It has also filed a complaint with the Registrar of Societies.
Insult to BN
Mawan told reporters today that SPDP viewed the inclusion of KBNS in the parade as insult to BN.
“They have undermined the very principle of BN solidarity,” he said.
“We found such public display of arrogance to BN and our party unacceptable.”
He said the organisers of the event should not have allowed “this act of sabotage to the BN spirit of solidarity”.
“It is very perplexing, very disturbing and intolerable,” he added. “They were placed side by side with our contingent, and they also ridiculed our members, asking our members to join them.
“We seek an immediate explanation from the event organisers and the State BN Secretary General for allowing the group’s participation in a prestigious state event.”
Political observers are questioning whether the organisers consulted Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is also chairman of the state BN, and whether Taib agreed to the participation of the ex-SPDP leaders.
Only time will tell
Mawan also announced that the SPDP had accepted the resignation of Wong Judat from the party. Judat is the state assemblyman for Meluan and was a vice-president in SPDP.
“What can we do as he has gone already,” he said, pointing out that even before the party had accepted his resignation, Judat had joined the Sarawak Workers Party.
Judat submitted his resignation from SPDP early this month and is now one of the vice presidents of his new party.
Asked to comment on the impact of the loss of six elected representatives from the party, Mawan admitted that there were setbacks.
“After two years we are slowly building up and structuring the party, as evident by the recruitment of new members,” he said.
“More and more people are joining us to fill their places.”