SPDP TGA: Members may question party handling of ‘Gang of Five’ crisis

Paul Igai explains ROS requirement to delegates during the 9th SPDP Annual General Meeting.

SIBU: There may not be much ‘firework’ in the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) triennial delegate assembly (TGA) in Bintulu this weekend.

After all, it is common knowledge that there will not be any contest for the top posts.

But according to its deputy secretary-general Paul Igai, some members might want to dwell on the party handling of the five supreme council members, the so-called ‘Gang of Five’ who had been sacked for insubordination.

However, what needed to be said and done about them had all been said and accomplished since last year.

Paul, when contacted by Bernama, however said: “Members are expected to tell the party top guns to be tougher next time around when facing any such crisis. There may be a little firework here.”

The ‘gang of Five’ are former vice-presidents Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading MP), Datuk Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Datuk Sylvester Entri (former secretary-general/Marudi), Paul Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) and Rosey Yunus (Bekenu).

“In short, we need proper and swift crisis management strategy,” Paul said.

He added the core issue would be the party preparations for the coming 13th general election where it defends its four parliamentary seats of Mas Gading, Saratok, Bintulu and Baram.

“The thrust now is to move forward, reconsolidate and focus our efforts on winning them,” he said.

Some 1,667 delegates and observers from branches state-wide will attend the TGA.

Paul said another 1,500 members from branches within Bintulu were expected to raise the figures.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had been invited to declare open the main assembly on Sunday at 10am at the Civic Centre, here.

Also present would be Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and leaders of fellow Barisan Nasional component parties.

The Women and Youth wings held their joint assemblies yesterday.

Meanwhile, SPDP current treasurer-general Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing may move up the ladder to become its new deputy president replacing Datuk Peter Nyarok who is likely to be appointed honorary life president.

Party president Tan Sri William Mawan will stay put as president and so will the Women and Youth wing leaders Chiew Yen Chew and Robert Ayu respectively.

Three new vice-presidents will be appointed.

Going by talks in the grapevine, SPDP is likely to retain its Bintulu seat where Tiong is likely to be re-nominated, the Baram seat, whose incumbent is Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Jacob Sagan, and Saratok where
Deputy Home Minister Jelaing Mersat are likely to get the party nod again.

Mas Gading constituency has yet to identify its candidate to replace Dr Tiki.

Mawan had said SPDP did not suffer from a lack of well qualified and winnable candidates.

“We have, as a matter of fact, five locals who are either senior civil servants or businessmen. The best thing is, if one among them is chosen, the other four have pledged to help ensure him of a podium finish,” he said when met last month.

On a brighter note, its secretary-general Nelson Balang Rining said the party’s march forward and rebranding exercise have received a tremendous boost with many more new and young members coming in.

The current membership stands at 90,000 and he is confident of another 10,000 new members by the end of the year. — Bernama

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