SPDP Supreme Council to discuss poor party performance

KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 (Bernama) — The Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP)’s Supreme Council meeting on Wednesday in Sibu is expected to focus on the party’s poor performance in the recent state election.

The biggest casualties were party deputy president Datuk Peter Nyarok Entrie who failed to retain the Krian seat and newcomer Willie Liau who lost in Ba’Kelalan.

The two defeats are expected to be the hot topic at the election post-mortem. Nyarok was defeated by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Ali Biju and Liau by state PKR chief Baru Bian.

However, SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom declined to divulge more details on the issues that the party leadership will be addressing at the Wednesday meeting.

“We expect the meeting to be long. That’s all I can say at the moment,” he told Bernama when contacted.

Mawan, who is also state Social Development and Urbanisation Minister, said the party welcomed all feedback, especially on matters related to the party’s dismal performance in the state polls, and hoped that all its elected representatives would attend the meeting.

Recently, Mawan was reported by local newspapers as saying that one of the reasons why SPDP lost the Krian and Ba Kelalan state constituencies was the new strategies and campaign culture brought by the opposition.

He said the party had some preliminary findings about the losses and hoped for a comprehensive post-mortem at the supreme council meeting.

He described SPDP’s loss in Krian as unexpected and did not rule out Liau’s defeat in Ba Kelalan to be due to the last-minute change in the Barisan Nasional’s choice of candidate which might have confused and upset the voters.

“Furthermore, there was not enough time to promote the new candidate when people were already warming up to the former one (SPDP secretary-general Datuk Nelson Balang Rining) with all their election machinery ready. This was a miscalculation, resulting in the destabilisation of the BN support base.

“Willie (Liau) was new and there was not enough time for people to warm up to him whereas Nelson had never lost,” he was quoted as saying.

At the meeting, the party leadership is also expected to touch on the recent statement made by five party leaders who were wondering about “Mawan’s continued silence” on the April 16 state election results.

The five SPDP elected representatives are Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie, Marudi assemblyman Sylvester Entrie Muran, Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Ngumbang, Bekenu assemblyman Rosey Yunus and Member of
Parliament for Mas Gading Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe.

They were famously known as the “SPDP 5” after they protested a decision made by the president at the party’s last triennial general assembly. Both camps patched up before the recent state election.

The group had met in Kuching on May 25 to review the party’s performance in the election before coming out with a strongly-worded statement on the party’s top leadership.

However, it’s not immediately known if all the five leaders will attend the supreme council meeting.

Party information chief Paul Igai when contacted said so far only Nansian, who is also SPDP senior vice-president and state Assistant Minister for Environment, and Entri, who is also Assistant Minister of Public Utilities (Water Supply), had stated that they would be unable to attend the meeting.

“Both will be away in Brazil as part of the state government’s delegation to the International Hydropower Association (IHA) World Congress on Advancing Sustainable Hydropower from June 14 to 18,” he said. — BERNAMA

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