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.
KUCHING: The statement by PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing on the possible revival of a larger entity comprising PRS, SNAP and SPDP did not go down well with an SPDP grassroots leader.
SPDP Lambir division chairman Stewart Aying yesterday said the statement was calculated to make the leadership crisis in SUPP bigger and slow down the reconsolidation process in SPDP.
He said he also interpreted Masing’s statement as a subtle effort to shift the role played by the Pesaka wing of PBB as Dayak paramount chief kingmaker to that of the proposed entity.
“The statement is politically insensitive towards leaders of fellow Barisan Nasional (BN) especially that of SUPP and SPDP when they (SUPP and SPDP) are making efforts to move towards reconsolidation on the ground. Tan Sri Dr James Masing should have also stopped and thought for a while on how PBB would feel about the whole thing,” he said when contacted in Miri.
Stewart said the best thing for BN right now was for PRS leaders to let SUPP and SPDP resolve the problems besieging them even if it meant they had to discipline members for insubordination and undermining their own parties and the BN coalition.
“We are all still in BN family. Whether SPDP merges with PRS, the entity would still be a BN component. During election, it is either BN or the opposition that the majority vote for. So what is the point of a merger unless Tan Sri Dr James Masing is thinking about the politics of numbers and its effects,” Stewart emphasised.
“In view of the next parliamentary election, the PRS president’s statement is not only upsetting me but not timely and uncalled for,” he added.
On Masing’s take about partyless Marudi assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entrie’s status, Stewart said since the Marudi seat was already allocated to BN-SPDP, it should remain so.
Stewart said Masing’s opinion about Entrie continuing to be BN member was right but that did not give Entrie the right to stand there in the next state election on BN ticket because there was no such thing as a direct BN candidate.
“Direct BN candidacy will be a bad precedent because that will mean the start of a crumbling BN, causing insubordination here and there. That will also make elected representatives believe that they are forever safe in BN whenever they decide to go against their party presidents. I do not think this should be allowed in BN,” he reiterated.
“By virtue of the principle of power sharing practised by BN, any elected representative who has been sacked or has resigned from his party cannot bring along his seat to another BN component party. Therefore, Entrie should not dream of bringing along the seat with him to PRS after his sacking from SPDP because both parties are BN components,” he reminded.
Masing on Wednesday said the merger of SNAP, PRS and SPDP would only be possible if certain negative elements were excluded.
Although he did not specifically mention the ‘negative elements’ it was quite obvious that he was trying to woo the dissenting Bumiputera elected representatives of SUPP and SPDP as well as Entri and Pelagus assemblymen George Lagong.
The elected representatives from SUPP referred to are Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang assemblyman), Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Ranum Mina (Opar) and Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) while those from SPDP are Rosey Yunus (Bekenu), Paulus Palu Ngumbang (Batu Danau) and Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie (Tasik Biru) as well as Mas Gading MP Datuk Tiki Lafe.
SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan could not be reached for comment.
KUCHING: The proposed merger between the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has not materialised due to the objections of a certain “powerful individual” in SPDP, said SPDP senior vice-president Datuk Peter Nansian.
Nansian told a press conference at the PRS headquarters here yesterday that a majority of SPDP and PRS leaders had agreed on the merger of the two Dayak-based parties but neither they nor SPDP president Datuk Seri William Mawan could take any step forward as “someone else was controlling the situation”.
Talks on the merger stalled two years ago when PRS objected to the inclusion of certain personalities in the current SPDP leadership.
“Mawan is a very good, kind and honest man. We have no quarrels or misunderstandings but it is a fact and we all know that he is being tied down by someone in the party,” Nansian said.
When asked to name the person said to be “controlling” Mawan, Nansian, who is also the Tasik Biru state assemblyman, said there was no need for him to mention any name as it was an open secret.
“Because of this prevailing situation we are doing our president a favour by having the meetings with PRS and kickstarting the merger because he could not do it. We want to do what we have to do and what the people want us to do. The rakyat want an honest party that can help them and not a party that is being controlled by one person.”
He said the pro-merger group of leaders from SPDP were pushing for an immediate merger with PRS to strengthen Barisan Nasional (BN) and consolidate rural-based constituencies in the state.
He also said the proposed merger was agreed upon by the SPDP supreme council while the BN leadership at state-level also agreed (to the merger) in principle.
Nansian, who is also state assistant minister of environment, said the pro-merger group of leaders wanted to answer the call of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to put the people, and not self-interest, first.
PRS president Datuk Seri James Jemut Masing, who was also present at the press conference, reiterated his earlier stand that PRS was all for the merger in the best interests of the people, particularly rural folk in the state.
“What the (pro-merger) group did is just fulfilling the wishes of PRS and SPDP members. I accept their move and I laud their courage to take the risk for the good of the rural populace.
“The group’s move is done with the sole objective of realising our longstanding dream and vision of consolidating rural-based constituencies which both PRS and SPDP leaders initiated five years ago,” Masing said, adding that the merger could be a long-drawn-out process.
He said both sides had agreed to form a special committee to handle all matters pertaining to the “marriage”.
“With state elections coming anytime soon, our rural constituencies are going to be a battlefield. We cannot afford to waste time. We need to strengthen our constituencies.”
The senior state politician further added that his main intention to engage the pro-merger group from SPDP was to strengthen the rural-based constituencies and help SPDP, on condition that the merger must be inclusive and not exclusive.
“I am open to all SPDP members except those who have been trouble-makers to the party.”
Also present were former SPDP secretary-general Sylvester Entrie, SPDP Bekenu state assemblywoman Rosey Yunus and SPDP Batu Danau state assemblyman Paulus Gumbang, PRS secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Nissom, Youth chief Mong Dagang and vice-president John Sikie Tayai.
RM3.4billion of infrastructure to be delivered in the next three years. Roads, treated water supplies and electricity. Even now the areas held by these politicians lack all those infrastructure. And, yet they have so much time politicking!
By the time they are settled down, all the fund will be gone, and there goes the Dayak-majority areas again – left behind!