SARIKEI, June 13 (Bernama) — Julau member of parliament Datuk Joseph Salang was in high spirits after visiting more than 15 longhouses in the Meluan and Pakan state constituencies (forming the Julau seat) over the weekends.
The three-term incumbent and Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Culture has plenty of reasons to feel so. His grip on Julau, the size of the whole state of Negeri Sembilan and currently with 20,761 registered voters, is as solid as ever and still growing.
This is despite the continuous provocations and allegations by a fellow politician that people of the two seats want him replaced.
This is because according to Wong anak Judat, the Meluan state assemblyman from a BN component party, the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), Salang is “from neighbouring Bintangor and not a local-born and bred and as such, has no real heart for Julau’s future”.
Salang’s visits to over 10 longhouses in the Nansang and Sungai Rusa interiors were unannounced. He wanted to personally check on the number of longhouses and families affected by the growing fresh water shortage.
SIBU, May 24 (Bernama) — The Sarawak Progessive Democratic Party (SPDP) will mobilise its members in the Meluan and Pakan state constituencies to ensure the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Julau parliamentary seat wins in the coming general election.
Its president, Tan Sri William Mawan, said SPDP was a friend and partner to all BN component parties, including the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
“We are not PRS’ enemy in Julau, although our state assemblyman for Meluan, Wong anak Judat, has personal differences with PRS incumbent Datuk Joseph Salang, who is expected to be renominated.
We do not believe in trying to sabotage another BN component party to make us stronger,” he told a press conference today, after declaring open the party’s service centre for the state central region here.
Mawan, who is the state social development minister, said it was the Sarawak Worker’s Party (SWP) and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which wanted to challenge the PRS in all its six parliamentary seats.
On differences between Wong and Salang, who is state deputy information communication and culture minister, he said it should not be seen as a big problem for the BN.
“We will help Salang. We have never waiver from this understanding as a fellow BN component party,” he said.
On calls by various quarters for the party to take action against Wong, Mawan said SPDP had its own mechanism and system, should this be necessary.
“Nevertheless, what happened in Julau was Wong, merely expressing his personal differences with Salang,” he said.
On the service centre, Mawan said it would help the party serve over 10,000 members from 18 divisions in the state’s central region.
“The region covering the Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah and Kapit divisions is probably our strongest supporter base, in terms of membership strength, unity and loyalty,” he noted. — BERNAMA
KUCHING: SPDP vice president Wong Judat yesterday asserted that he was still a BN man and very much in SPDP, casting aside aspersions that that he had put himself in a position that had become an affront to the ruling coalition.
The Meluan assemblyman also denied that he was contemplating leaving BN and SPDP.
“How can I quit BN and SPDP? I am a strongman of SPDP. I am a strong BN supporter. I brought the seat of Meluan to SPDP and therefore to BN,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
Wong was clarifying a news report that he was ‘supporting’ the newly registered Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) as he was seen shaking hands with SWP prime mover Datuk Sng Chee Hua, who is tipped to contest under SWP ticket against BN possible candidate Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum in Julau in the coming 13th general election.
On this, he explained that the meeting with Sng at the function in Nanga Entabai, Julau on April 28 was by chance and not by design.
He said the function was a BN ‘Leader-Meet-The People’ session organised by Tuai Rumah Budul, and disclosed that he (Wong) had the letter from the longhouse chief to prove that he was invited to grace it.
“It was not an SWP function. It was my function as a BN assemblyman meeting the constituents,” he explained.
“I still keep the letter of invitation for all to see. It (the Nanga Entabai event) was a BN Leader-Meet-The People function. It was a friend’s event. It was therefore not a SWP function. And Datuk Sng just happened to be there,” said Wong, adding that he would explain the situation further on May 6 at Pakan, Julau.
“I will explain everything in Pakan,” he said. Pakan is an SPDP state seat currently held by its president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom who is also a senior state minister.
When told that Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Rata Nissom was unhappy with the latest development in Julau, Wong replied that several quarters had capitalised on the issue.
On his take on Salang, Wong said it was indeed true he had personal problems with the PRS vice-president, whom he (Wong) described as not a winnable candidate for BN in the coming polls. He, however, said he had no problems with PRS as a party.
On April 14, Mawan told the press that the personal vendetta between Wong and Salang was real and it was manifested at a particular function where both men (Salang and Wong) were jostling over a microphone to explain what had happened to the stalled RM3 million Nanga Entabai-Rantau Limau road project.
Wong initially won Meluan as an independent by beating Sarawak National Party (SNAP) candidate, the late Geman Itam, in 2001 state polls. Subsequently he joined SPDP when SNAP was deregistered in November 2002.
Wong was known to be vocal at the grassroots level, making him a popular leader with the locals in Julau.
Sng, on the other hand, is a former Julau MP (1995 to 1999) during the era of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) before Salang, the then PBDS treasurer-general, took over from Sng. Salang is currently a federal deputy minister.