Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unhappy 'SPDP 5' to join PRS

Since their open dispute with their party president, the five elected representatives from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) seemed to have burnt their bridges with the party and the boss.

The Malaysian Mirror can reveal today that the group of SPDP legislators, led by its former secretary-general and state Assistant Minister Sylvester Enteri, will be jumping ship. Their next stop – Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) led by state Land Development Minister Dr James Masing.

Others in the group are Tasik Biru state assemblyman and Assistant Minister for Environment Peter Nansian, Batu Danau state rep Paulus Gumbang, Bekenu state assemblywoman Rosey Yunus and Mas Gading MP Dr Tiki Lafe.

spdp-rebelsThe three SPDP supreme council members aligned to the "Unhappy 5" are George Garai, Peter Gani and Eda Egar.

Last month they walked out from the SPDP supreme council meeting when president William Mawan announced the appointment of Nelson Balang Rining, the state rep for Ba'Kelalan, as secretary-general replacing Enteri.

Fallout with Mawan

Enteri and the other leaders who were also founding fathers of the seven-year old SPDP were deeply disappointed with the president's decision. They charged that Mawan did not honour his promise of maintaining status quo in the party's elections last December.

Although Mawan tried to pacify the group by appointing Enteri as a party vice-president, the olive branch came too late. They had already decided to burn their bridges.

A leader of the group who declined to be identified told the Malaysian Mirror that members of the group met yesterday afternoon. And their final decision was to join PRS. They would be submitting their resignation letters from SPDP to the party any time now.

He believed that more elected representatives from SPDP are expected to cross over to PRS for the "larger interest of Dayak unity."

Lost confidence

He said that the group will be meeting PRS president James Masing soon to submit their applications to join his party.

Asked to confirm the news, Enteri asked this reporter: "How do you know?".

However, he was quick to add that they were very disappointed with the way the party (SPDP) affairs had been handled by the president.

He said that they had lost confidence in the leadership of the party.

Their joining PRS which is expected to enlarge the growing support for the party that has now nine state assemblymen and six MPs is expected to be announced within the next 48 hours to coincide with the visit of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak from Feb 22-23 to Sarawak.

Keeping them within the BN

Political observers see the latest political development in Dayak politics as completing a whole circle – breaking from SNAP in the early 80s into Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak, SPDP and now in PRS.

james-masingContacted by the Malaysian Mirror from Kuala Lumpur, James Masing said he had not met the SPDP dissidents so far nor discussed with them about joining PRS.

"What I know is that they do have some problems within their own party but I don't know how serious it is," he said.

Asked whether he would be happy to accept them into his party, Masing told MM: "Let's put it this way. It's better to keep them within the Barisan Nasional fold than to lose them to the opposition".

news courtesy of Malaysian Mirror

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