Ministry’s process of selecting local councillors draws ire from SPDP supporters
by stephen then
Source: The Star online
MIRI: There is a simmering discontent among certain sections of Barisan Nasional component party supporters in many districts over the latest appointment of councillors.
Almost all of the proposed candidates from SPDP and even SUPP were rejected by the Local Government and Community Development Ministry, causing unhappiness among the grassroots.
Party loyalists felt that they were getting a raw deal from the state government and from minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, inside sources revealed to The Star.
SUPP leaders are keeping their feelings in check, and are not venting their frustrations openly because of the more serious deregistration predicament that the party is facing with the Registrar of Societies.
However, SPDP leaders are not holding back their punches, with SPDP deputy president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing openly attacking Wong for the way his ministry had gone about the selection process.
The Star called up Marudi SPDP chief Alexander Asing (pic), and he claimed that there were many frustrated supporters all over Sarawak, not just in Marudi.
“Yes, they are angry. They have a right to be angry. All of the candidates for councillors proposed by SPDP were rejected outright by the ministry.
“The grassroots are questioning why SPDP is getting such a raw deal.
“What happened is an insult to those who have been loyal and faithful to Barisan all these years,” he said.
Asing said all the councillor posts had gone to those who were proposed by the Group of Five (G5), the four assemblyman and one MP sacked by SPDP two years ago.
“These G5 wakil rakyat are no longer with Barisan. They have been sacked and yet their candidates ended up as councillors.
“The quota of councillors allotted to SPDP had been hijacked by G5.
“In those constituencies where G5 is based, SPDP got zero councillors this time around,” he said.
“SPDP grassroots feel insulted that minister Wong had said that incumbent assemblymen and MPs were given priority, to propose their candidates for the posts.
“If that is the real case, then those incumbent assemblymen and MPs from the Opposition should also be given priority to propose their candidates.
“What minister Wong said does not hold water and the rakyat know this. The appointment of the councillors this time around smacks of political manoeuvring,” said Asing.
SPDP grassroots were also questioning why party president Tan Sri William Mawan had been ‘soft’ in this issue.
Asing said they wanted to see Mawan more aggressive when it came to fighting for the interests of the party.