by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith
February 22, 2010, Monday
Source: Borneo Post
KUCHING: The disgruntled group of five elected representatives from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), who walked out of last month’s supreme council meeting, is seeking an “immediate merger” with Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
Senior vice-president and Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie who took the role of group spokesman, in a press conference held yesterday, declared that they are not joining PRS en bloc as earlier speculated but will “merge earlier” with PRS.
“Our group wants to merge earlier with PRS. The rest (from SPDP) can join later,” Nansian said at the press conference which was held at SPDP’s previous headquarters at Batu Kawa MJC New Township here.
“On the details of the merger (and the name of the new entity), we can work on those things later. Let us merge first,” he added.
Some members of the press were heard saying: “Merger with or into?”
Apart from Nansian, other members of the group of five are ousted secretary-general Sylvester Entrie Muran (Marudi assembly-man), Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau assembly-man), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu assemblywoman), Wong Judat (Meluan assembly-man) and Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe.
They jointly signed a press statement with three party supreme council members namely, Eda Igar, George Garai and Peter Gani.
The statement said, amongst others, their move to merge with PRS “is simply to expedite the vision and objective of both parties”.
Former information chief Sim Hang Seng was also present during the press conference.
According to Nansian, Meluan assemblyman Wong Judat was also with the group but that he could not come due to ‘transport problem’.
In front of the reporters, Nansian called up Wong and asked him if he agreed with the proposed merger.
With the telephone on speakerphone mode, Wong responded saying that he supported the merger for the sake of Dayak unity.
Asked why the group did not invite Mawan, Nansian said there was no need to.
On their move to expedite the merger, Nansian said: “The journey of a thousand miles start with little steps. We are doing it first because the members of both parties want it, the state BN leadership is encouraging it and there is no more reason to hold back because the merger would only strengthen the BN government. Now it is up to PRS to agree before we can set the motion.
He added: “(As far as our group is concerned), we want to trigger it off so that the merger can happen,” he said, adding that the merger had been long outstanding since it was proposed some five years ago.
He went on to say that both he and Entrie are members of the SPDP sub-committee for the merger since the idea surfaced five years ago, and thus have the mandate to act on the matter.
Entrie was also the sub-committee’s secretary.
Earlier Nansian read the joint press statement which said: “We, the undersigned, agree to merge with PRS in order to consolidate rural-based constituencies. This proposed merger had been agreed by SPDP supreme council and we believe the same is true on PRS’ side. The PRS supreme council, we were told, had agreed to merge with us. Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership at state level also agreed in principle for the rural-based parties to merge.
“Therefore, the move by us to merge with PRS is simply to expedite the vision and objective of both parties. It will strengthen BN in the rural areas especially in the Dayak-held constituencies.
“However, from our feedback, PRS leadership is not keen to merge with SPDP due to some personalities in the current line-up in SPDP. It is our hope that this group of SPDP Wakil Rakyat (6) and some supreme council members are acceptable to PRS leadership.
“This move is done with the sole objective of realising our long outstanding dream and vision of consolidating rural-based constituencies which both PRS and SPDP leaders initiated five years ago.”
Asked by reporters on those ‘personalities’ meant in the statement, Nansian replied that the question should be posed to PRS leaders instead.
To another question, he said the group had yet to speak to PRS president Dato Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.
Nonetheless, Nansian said, he did mention that they are putting up an offer to Masing for the merger to happen. On why they chose the old SPDP headquarters and not the new one at Jalan Badruddin, he said this was the official correspondence address for the party.
“This is the official SPDP headquarters, as this was still the one approved by ROS (Registrar of Societies). This is the correct place for the party,” he said.
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