SPDP Lambir chief shoots down idea of merger

Stewart Aing

KUCHING: The statement by PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing on the possible revival of a larger entity comprising PRS, SNAP and SPDP did not go down well with an SPDP grassroots leader.

SPDP Lambir division chairman Stewart Aying yesterday said the statement was calculated to make the leadership crisis in SUPP bigger and slow down the reconsolidation process in SPDP.

He said he also interpreted Masing’s statement as a subtle effort to shift the role played by the Pesaka wing of PBB as Dayak paramount chief kingmaker to that of the proposed entity.

“The statement is politically insensitive towards leaders of fellow Barisan Nasional (BN) especially that of SUPP and SPDP when they (SUPP and SPDP) are making efforts to move towards reconsolidation on the ground. Tan Sri Dr James Masing should have also stopped and thought for a while on how PBB would feel about the whole thing,” he said when contacted in Miri.

Stewart said the best thing for BN right now was for PRS leaders to let SUPP and SPDP resolve the problems besieging them even if it meant they had to discipline members for insubordination and undermining their own parties and the BN coalition.

“We are all still in BN family. Whether SPDP merges with PRS, the entity would still be a BN component. During election, it is either BN or the opposition that the majority vote for. So what is the point of a merger unless Tan Sri Dr James Masing is thinking about the politics of numbers and its effects,” Stewart emphasised.

“In view of the next parliamentary election, the PRS president’s statement is not only upsetting me but not timely and uncalled for,” he added.

On Masing’s take about partyless Marudi assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entrie’s status, Stewart said since the Marudi seat was already allocated to BN-SPDP, it should remain so.

Stewart said Masing’s opinion about Entrie continuing to be BN member was right but that did not give Entrie the right to stand there in the next state election on BN ticket because there was no such thing as a direct BN candidate.

“Direct BN candidacy will be a bad precedent because that will mean the start of a crumbling BN, causing insubordination here and there. That will also make elected representatives believe that they are forever safe in BN whenever they decide to go against their party presidents. I do not think this should be allowed in BN,” he reiterated.

“By virtue of the principle of power sharing practised by BN, any elected representative who has been sacked or has resigned from his party cannot bring along his seat to another BN component party. Therefore, Entrie should not dream of bringing along the seat with him to PRS after his sacking from SPDP because both parties are BN components,” he reminded.

Masing on Wednesday said the merger of SNAP, PRS and SPDP would only be possible if certain negative elements were excluded.

Although he did not specifically mention the ‘negative elements’ it was quite obvious that he was trying to woo the dissenting Bumiputera elected representatives of SUPP and SPDP as well as Entri and Pelagus assemblymen George Lagong.

The elected representatives from SUPP referred to are Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang assemblyman), Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Ranum Mina (Opar) and Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) while those from SPDP are Rosey Yunus (Bekenu), Paulus Palu Ngumbang (Batu Danau) and Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie (Tasik Biru) as well as Mas Gading MP Datuk Tiki Lafe.

SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan could not be reached for comment.

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