SPDP expects tough fight in Baram parliamentary seat

KUCHING, Aug 17 (Bernama) — Even though the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) is confident of retaining all its four parliamentary seats in the coming general election, the Baram seat is expected to see a tough fight due to issues relating to the Baram dam construction, its president Tan Sri William Mawan said.

He said the party and state Barisan Nasional (BN) needed to win the people’s trust and confidence by going to the ground to rectify the situation so as to allay their unfounded fears on the proposed dam, which would affect more than 20,000 people from 25 settlements.

“I have told our Baram Member of Parliament (Datuk Jacob Sagan) to visit the longhouses and villages in the area and address their fears or else the opposition will jump in, not because they can solve their problems but they will try to appear to be the champions,” Mawan, who is also state Social Development Minister told a press conference here.

Apart from Baram, SPDP’s parliamentary constituencies are Bintulu, Mas Gading and Saratok.

He said people tended to spin negative publicity on the issue by capitalising on the people’s fears of being displaced as a result of the Bakun hydro electric dam project experience. — BERNAMA

No action against Wong Judat for now, says Sarawak BN Sec-Gen

KUCHING, Aug 6 (Bernama) — The Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) will not take any disciplinary action against Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) vice-president Wong Judat unless his announcement on contesting in the next general election proves to be detrimental to the coalition, Sarawak BN secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said Monday.

He said Wong, who is Meluan state assemblyman, was still in the BN by way of his announcement that he was still with the SPDP and the coalition after months of speculation that he would leave.

“He (Wong) has not made any decision and it is not fair to make any judgment (now) against him. As far as I am concerned, he is still with the BN,” he told reporters here.

Dr Rundi was asked whether the state BN would act against Wong, who had announced that he would contest against the coalition in the Julau parliamentary constituency if the incumbent, Datuk Joseph Salang, is nominated as a candidate in the next general election.

Following the announcement, speculation has been rife that Wong would contest in Julau under the banner of the Sarawak Workers Party (SWP), a newly formed opposition party led by Larry Sng, a former state assistant minister. — BERNAMA

SPDP’s Sagan Unhappy Over Speculation On His Candidacy

MIRI, Aug 2 (Bernama) — Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Jacob Sagan has expressed his displeasure over constant media speculation that he will likely be replaced at the last minute in the coming 13th general election.

Sagan, who is Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) senior vice-president, said the media reports would confuse voters in the Baram parliamentary constituency as the party had made the decision to retain him as Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Baram seat.

“It (speculation) will demoralise people in the constituency,” he said after presenting government grants worth RM251,000 to 17 recipients at the Miri Resident Office, here, Thursday.

Media reports recently said that at least five candidates were vying for the predominantly rural Baram seat which might replace Sagan if the leadership deemed him not a winnable candidate.

On another issue, Sagan who is the Baram hydroelectric project community consultative committee (BCCC) chairman, said landowners affected by the construction of the 58km road from Long Lama to Baram dam had been assured that the ongoing survey of their land would be conducted fair and square. — BERNAMA