Sacking of SPDP’s Sylvester Entri has minimal impact on BN – Analyst

Datuk Sylvester Entri’s sacking as member of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic party (SPDP) has minimal impact on the overall Barisan Nasional (BN) performance in the state.

Political analysts believe the decision would not have much impact on BN, particularly in rural areas, due to BN’s popularity among voters there.

“BN will still win. I don’t see any impact. The fact is that, in the rural areas, as long as you are BN, the voters will tend to vote for you. It’s still the dacing party logo, instead of the popular face,” said Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) political analyst Stanley Bye Kadam Kiai.

Moreover, he said, SPDP was regarded as a small party and it was unlikely to make any negative impact as it would be difficult for those being sacked to form a new party outside BN.

“I am not sure whether they will eventually form a new party but it would be very difficult for them to do so. The BN arrangement is that they will not allow any new member without any agreement from SPDP,” he added.

However, Stanley Bye believes the latest development in SPDP is “not good for Dayak Politics” but it is not something new in the state.

“Since 1987, we have seen this. From SNAP (Sarawak National Party) to PBDS (now defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak), to PRS (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) and SPDP,” he said.

Another analyst at Unimas’ Institute of East Asian Studies, Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, said even if Entri was popular with the people in the constituency, at the end of the day, they would still vote for BN, regardless of the candidate.

“It has been proven in the case of the Ming Court affair in 1987. When the state assembly was dissolved after that, the people still voted BN in the election,” he said.

The Ming Court affair is referred to the effort of a group of politicians headed by former Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakub in March 1987, planning to topple the state government under the leadership of his nephew, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

This prompted Abdul Taib to call for a snap state election where subsequently, the state BN under his charge still won most of the seats against the politicans who supported Abdul Rahman.

However, Awang Azman believes SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan’s image will be affected as some members may query why only Entri was sacked but not the other four leaders who supported him (Entri).

The other four leaders are senior vice-president Datuk Peter Nansian, vice-presidents Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, Rosey Yunus and information chief Paulus Palu Gumbang.

“Looking at the various press reports, you will find that Nansian was similarly vocal but was not sacked. This will raise some questions whether the decision (to sack Entri) was personal,” he said.

Therefore, he said, there might be some protests in the party but he believed Mawan would have consulted or explained the party’s decision with the state and national BN leadership.

Sarawak Chief Minister and state BN chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, in an immediate reaction on Friday, said he wanted things to “cool down first” and would meet the party leaders over the matter.

On Friday night, Taib held a closed-door meeting with state BN leaders at his residence. The meeting’s agenda was not immediately known.

Nevertheless, party sources said BN leaders were concerned over Entri’s sacking as he was not an ordinary state assemblyman and was handpicked by the top state leadership to contest in Marudi in the 1996 state election under the SPDP banner. — BERNAMA

SPDP VP Entri sacked, door remains open to four other leaders – Mawan

Datuk Sylvester Entri

KUCHING, Nov 25 (Bernama) — Sarawak Progressive Democrative Party (SPDP) vice president and Marudi state assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entri was sacked from the party for alleged insubordination while the door remained open for four other senior leaders, its president Tan Sri William Mawan said Friday.

He said the four, including senior vice-president and Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, vice-president and Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, information chief and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang and another supreme council member and Bekenu assemblyman Rosey Yunus, however, were technically no longer office-bearers.

“Today is the saddest day of my political career, after due process and consultation with the supreme council, with deep regret, I announce that Entri is no longer a member of SPDP, with immediate effect but the seat (Marudi) remains with the party,” Mawan, who is also state Social Development Minister, told reporters after chairing a three-hour supreme council meeting at the party’s headquarters here.

The fate of the five estranged leaders, dubbed the “SPDP Five” was among the agenda discussed besides the party’s preparation for the forthcoming general election, including the role its youth and puteri wings to organise engagement forums for the voters.

The supreme council also decided that Dr Tiki would not be renominated to contest in Mas Gading because he was not the most winnable candidate and, for which, a new list of several winnable ones would be presented to the respective state and federal Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman in due course, he said.

Mawan said Entri and his group had continously distanced themselves from the party by not attending supreme council meetings and made sustained attacks against him, challenging and ridiculing his leadership through one press statement after another.

By publicly declaring that the show cause letter issued by the party’s disciplinary board to him was no longer relevant and by ignoring the party’s constitutional process, he had effectivelty chosen to burn his bridges with the party, he said.

“These acts have created unneccesary tensions and anxiety among our party members and can even threaten the existence of our party,” he said, adding that as a multiracial demoractic party, SPDP was guided by the principles and guidelines prescribed under its constitution, which also governed the conduct of its members.

Asked if he was in a dilemma to take action against Entri, he said : “It was not the unity of the grassroot that compelled me but the time had come (we feel that there is no end to this)…I am not doing it out of personal feelings or personal grudges but a sense of responsibility.”

Describing Entri as “having the quality to be the next party president”, Manwan said the former had also been groomed by him to take over the helm from the current leaders one day.

On the status of Entri’s ministerial position as state Assistant Minister for Water Supply as well as Agriculture (Farmers organisations), he said it was the prerogative of Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is also state BN chairman.

However, the SPDP chief said he would reject outright any move by Entri to join or be accepted by another Sarawak BN component party as it was unprecedented.

Citing the previous case of a former Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) leader Larry Sng, who was also sacked from his party for insubordination, he said the BN had a code of conduct, which meant that a new political party formed within a group would still be considered outside of the coalition.

In the interest of the BN and the upcoming general election, he had considered the sad episode closed and the party, whose immediate agenda was towards a focused and united effort to ensure BN victory, needed to move on, said Mawan.

“In this connection, I like to apologise to our state and federal BN leaders and ask for their patience and understanding and to bear with us,” he added. — BERNAMA

Taib Says Will Comment After Meeting SPDP’s Leaders

KUCHING, Nov 2 (Bernama) — Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said he wanted the meet the top leadership of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) first before making any comments on the crisis that has befallen the party.

“Wait first, I will have to meet SPDP’s leaders on this,” Taib, who is also Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, told reporters after attending the Bintang Kecil 2011 talentime contest at Auditorium P.Ramlee here Friday.

Earlier Friday, SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan had announced that the party’s vice president and Marudi state assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entri had been sacked for alleged insubordination.

Mawan had also said that the “door still remained open” for four other “rebel” leaders.

However, he said the four, senior vice-president and Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, vice-president and Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, information chief and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang and another supreme council member and Bekenu assemblyman Rosey Yunus, were technically no longer office-bearers.