Source: NST Online
KUCHING: Things have not gone well for the Dayak-based Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) since its triennial general assembly last month.
Party president Datuk Seri William Mawan’s prerogative to appoint the party’s secretary-general is being questioned by some senior leaders.
Mawan, who is the social development and urbanisation minister, had last Saturday at the party’s supreme council meeting, appointed Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining as the new secretary-general.
The new appointment replaced Marudi state assemblyman Sylvester Entrie, who is also the assistant minister of public utilities.
Some members are alleging that Mawan did not keep to his word of maintaining the status quo.
Months before the meeting, Mawan had said that he did not want his line-up of office-bearers, in which Entrie was still the secretary-general, to be challenged.
However, at the supreme council meeting, Entrie was not re-appointed secretary-general, but was made one of the two appointed vice-presidents.
Unhappy with Mawan’s decision to replace him, he and a few others, namely state assemblyman for Batu Danau Paulus Gumbang, Mas Gading MP and vice-president Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe and supreme council members George Garai, Peter Gani and Eda Igar left the meeting.
Entrie not only rejected his appointment as vice-president, but also accused Mawan of not keeping to his words. He claimed that Mawan did not consult the supreme council and only listened to a few individuals in naming the secretary-general.
Mawan admitted that some people might not be happy with the changeover.
“If there is a personal feeling, we do not take much into account because we are committed to the strengthening of the party,” he said.
Deputy president Datuk Peter Nyarok told Entrie that the party’s interests ranked supreme when the president exercised his prerogative to appoint a secretary-general.
“It must be viewed as part of a routine exercise done by the president after the assembly and which included the appointments of the new supreme council members,” he said in a statement.
SPDP Wanita, meanwhile, expressed regret that Entrie had acted irrationally with his outburst.
“His hasty decision to throw caution to the wind and take the issue to the media where he openly criticised the party leadership was a move that did not speak well of him as a party leader,” Wanita chief Chiew Yen Chew said.
She said the Wanita acknowledged that the appointment of secretary-general and other appointed posts was the prerogative of the president as provided for in the party constitution and should not be questioned.
“His insistence on the maintenance of the status quo for all party posts in the aftermath of the assembly is both misleading and disrespectful,” Chew said.