By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: The Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) faction led by former secretary-general Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran is preparing for the next state election – with or without president Datuk Seri William Mawan Ikom.
The group, dubbed the SPDP5, has snubbed Mawan’s offer of reconciliation as they did not believe that he was sincere.
Entri told The Star that they were already focused on the polls and had started their own groundwork.
“We are already going to the ground to visit our constituents. Whatever is happening in the party, let Mawan handle it. We cannot waste our time worrying about party disputes,” he said.
Asked whether they were worried that Mawan might not even re-nominate them in the polls, Entri, who is the Marudi assemblyman, said they were voted in by the people and their support remained strong.
SPDP has four MPs and eight assemblymen.
The rift started when Mawan suddenly dropped Entri as the SPDP secretary-general earlier this year.
As a result, SPDP senior vice-president Datuk Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru assemblyman), vice-presidents Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading MP) and Rosey yunus (Bekenu assemblyman), and information chief Palu Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau assemblyman), sided with Entri.
Mawan had offered the olive branch during an SPDP gathering here on Saturday. He had called on Entri and his supporters to “forgive and forget” so that the party can focus on preparations for the coming state election.
The group refused the offer.
“We did not start the internal crisis. He started it by breaking his promise to maintain the status quo in the party when he changed the line-up (of the supreme council). If Mawan is sincere in wanting to reconcile, he must do more than just talk,” said Entri.
When told that feedback from his supporters on the reconciliation offer was negative, Entri said he would let his supporters judge Mawan’s sincerity.
“They can analyse and judge for themselves whether the peace offer from Mawan is due to political worries or due to his sincere desire to reconcile with us,” he said.
Entri said Mawan could solve the internal crisis by keeping to his word and maintaining the supreme council line-up as he had promised during the party’s general assembly last year.