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New party, PBB strategy to kill-off SPDP?

 | September 3, 2013

Rumours are rife that certain leaders within Taib Mahmud's PBB want to close the chapter on SPDP.

KUCHING: Is newly approved Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) the work of “certain leaders” in Chief Minister Taib Mahmud-led Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) who want to see the end of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and its president William Mawan?

The latest rumour is that Teras was set up to accomodate the five dissenting and now partyless leaders – better known as G5 – who were expelled from SPDP by Mawan in 2011 for insubordination.

The rumours underscores an earlier comment by Mawan acknowledging that  SPDP had ‘enemies within the BN (Barisan Nasional)’ who are undermining and bullying the party.

Although Mawan did not name names, it was obvious he was referring to some PBB leaders.

Thus, all eyes are now on members of G5 and on whether or not they will join Teras.

Said a former SPDP supreme council member: “I can tell you that some leaders in Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) want the G5 elected reps to join Teras in order to finish off SPDP.”

Declining to be named, he went on to add that these PBB leaders want SPDP to be replaced by Teras “especially if it can be successful” in the state polls which should be held by 2016.

Following the sacking of the G5, SPDP now has only one state seat. It however still has four parliamentary seats.

The ex-SPDP council member further said that Teras was likely to challenge SPDP’s eight seats namely Tasik Biru, Krian, Pakan, Meluan, Batu Danau, Bekenu, Marudi and Ba’Kelalan.

“The PBB leaders want Teras to replace SPDP especially if it can be successful in the eight seats it is going to contest in the coming state election.

“It will not be difficult… SPDP now only has one state seat,” He said adding that it was only logical that the G5 members join Teras “because SPDP will oppose their entry into any of the other existing BN component parties”.

Teras formed by ex-SPDP members

He also claimed that at least two of of SPDP’s current four parliamentarians are “weighing the odds”.

The G5 comprises elected representatives Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Sylvester Entri (Marudi), Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and ex-Mas Gading assemblyman Tiki Lafe.

Nansian when asked about Teras refused to comment.

“No comment on the new party as we still prefer to join any of the existing BN component parties in Sarawak other than SPDP,” he told FMT.

Teras, incidentally is formed by ex-collegues from SPDP.

The application to register the party was submitted last year.

Teras along with Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru), Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB), Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) and Peace Party received their certificates of registration from ROS yesterday.

The protem secretary of Teras is Banyi Briak, who was the former SPDP executive-secretary. He was removed just before the state election in April 2011 allegedly because of his involvement with the struggle of the G5.

Hundreds of members from these constituencies had also resigned from the party following the expulsion of their leaders.

There were also mass resignations from the party branches in Mas Gading, Saratok, Julau and Marudi just before the parliamentary election.

More SPDP member face axe

In Saratok, SPDP branches in Krian and Kalaka were said to have closed down following the resignations of more than 300 members who did not agree with Mawan’s candidacy for the Saratok parliamentary constituency.

Among those who protested were Jelaing Mersat, former Deputy Minister of Transport and Chambai Landong, SPDP supreme council member.

More members are expected to be axed from the party when SPDP meets next month for its triennial general assembly.

“All those who have left the party are welcome to join Teras. We will welcome them with open arms,” said Briak.

He refused, however, to comemnt on whether the G5 members had contacted him. He also declined to comment on the rumour.

“The party is open to all members who have resigned or expelled from SPDP, and the invitation includes members of the G5,” he said.

Briak said that Teras would meet soon to discuss the party’s future plans and directions and to elect new office-bearers.

“We are given 90 days to do that,” he said


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