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Take the men, leave the seats, says SPDP

 | July 31, 2013

SPDP has reminded PRS president James Masing about his stand in the Larry Sng and Pelagus seat issue.

KUCHING: The ‘G5’ former members of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) can join any party they please but they cannot take their seats with them, said party secretary-general Nelson Balang Rining.

“They are not members of SPDP and if they want to join PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) , it is okay with us.

“But they must leave behind the seats, as they (seats) belong to us,” Balang told FMT.

He also reminded PRS leaders of a similar scenario not too long ago involving former Pelagus assemblyman Larry Sng who was sacked from PRS.

“I want to remind PRS leaders that when they expelled Larry Sng from PRS, they said that he could not bring the Pelagus seat with him in the event he joined other BN party.

“(Tan Sri James) Masing was adamant that the Pelagus seat belonged to PRS, and he would fight to keep the seat with PRS,” said Balang.

He was commenting on a report that PRS was ready to accept the G5 (group of five) into its fold.

The five are state elected representatives namely Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Sylvester Entri (Marudi), Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) and Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and the former MP for Mas Gading Tiki Lafe.

The five, who have been partyless since they were expelled from SPDP in November 2011 and January 2012 for gross insubordination, are considering joining any existing BN party.

They expressed their intention to join any BN party after SPDP president William Mawan disclosed that he had identified seven new faces to contest in the coming election.

By putting new faces especially in the four seats (Tasik Biru, Marudi, Bekenu and Batu Danau), it is interpreted that Mawan will not accept the return of the four to SPDP.

SPDP will fight for seats

Masing who is PRS president had reportedly said that his party would “certainly consider” applications by G5 members if they choose to join PRS.

“If they wish to join PRS, we certainly and kindly consider their request,” he said, pointing out that it would be better for them to join any BN party rather than the opposition.

Reacting to Masing’s comment, Balang, who was the former Ba’Kelalan assemblyman said: “Like PRS leaders, SPDP leaders would also fight to keep the four seats with the party.

“The seats have been allocated to us since the days of the defunct Sarawak National Party (SNAP) of which SPDP is its offshoot,” he said.

Meanwhile Masing reminded SPDP leaders that June 2016 is a long time in politics and anything could happen along the way.

“Whatever their internal differences, they both serve one boss – the Barisan Nasional.

“I hope they do not forget it. I wish both parties (G5 and SPDP) all the best, said Masing, who is Land Development Minister.

SPDP and PRS leaders have been at loggerheads since the formation of PRS in October 2004 as the two parties have been fighting for the rights to represent the Dayak community and have been accusing each other of back stabbing in the 2006 and 2011 state elections as well as the parliamentary elections of 2008 and 2013.

“Because of mistrust and suspicion of each other, the proposed merger between the two parties failed to materialize,” said a former leader of the deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak.

The proposed merger was suggested by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in 2006 to ensure a strong Dayak representation in both the federal and state governments.

“But due to major policy and personality differences, the merger has failed,” said the veteran politician.


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