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Mawan-G5 rift deepens

 | September 9, 2013

The sacking of 40 pro-SPDP longhouse chiefs is expected to further divide the Marudi constituency

KUCHING: Forty longhouse chiefs from the Marudi constituency have been removed from their posts allegedly upon the recommendation of state Assistant Minister Sylvester Entri who ironically is Marudi assemblyman.

Majority of those sacked were members of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), Entri’s former party.

A letter of termination allegedly signed by the District Officer of Marudi has been served on the 40 tuai rumah. The letter also requested the respective longhouses to elect their own chiefs.

“No reason was given for their sacking, except to say that the respective longhouses must choose their new tuai rumah,” said Patrick Sibat, who comes from the area.

Three of Sibat’s relatives namely Gansa Anak Pagun of Sebatang Bok, Musen Anak Radin of Sebatang Bok and Sureng Anak Jelian of Sungai Bain, Tinjar have received their letters of termination.

Their sacking has not only heightened the political row between SPDP, which is headed by William Mawan Ikom, and Entri, but is now also certain to disrupt the ‘peace’ and further divide the longhouse folk in the constituency.

Entri is one of the members of SPDP 5 (also known as G5) who were sacked in 2011 for insubordination by Mawan.

The others were assemblymen Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and the former MP for Mas Gading Dr Tiki Lafe

The five have now formed a ‘Sarawak BN Club’ in order to maintain their position in the state Barisan government.

Rift deepens

Meanwhile a number of those who received their letters of termination have brought their cases to Mawan’s attention.Sources close to the party claimed that Entri is showing his ‘power’ over those who supported Mawan especially in connection with his (Mawan’s) visit to Ulu Teru in Marudi in October 2012 which was strongly objected by at least 30 tuai rumah.The opposition to Mawan’s visit was said to have been organised by Entri’s supporters and members of G5.

Three of the longhouse chiefs who ‘repented’ lodged a police report saying that they were forced to sign a press statement condemning the visit of Mawan, who is the state Social Development Minister.

They told a press conference that they regretted what they did.

Mawan filed a complaint with the Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who then issued a stern warning against longhouse chiefs who were out to sabotage the visit by BN leaders to Ulu Teru.

Mawan finally visited Ulu Teru on Oct 23, 2011. About 3,000 people attended the function. Among them were some 50 longhouse chiefs.

Even though Entri was invited to attend the function, he was glaringly absent.

But the visit, however, left a bitter dispute between tuai rumah who supported Entri and those who supported Mawan.

Party sources claimed that the termination of longhouse chiefs supporting Mawan was a ‘selective punishment’.

SPDP’s deputy secretary-general Paul Igai when contacted said: “We are investigating it as we view the sacking very seriously. If there is any truth, we will do what is necessary,” he said.


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