Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman Taib Mahmud may be agreeable to the formation of a BN Club for errant assemblymen but ally SPDP feelssuch a move will only complicate matter.
KUCHING: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president William Mawan Ikom will strongly object to its infamous former elected representative known as ‘SPDP 5’ from joining any other Barisan Nasional parties but he is powerless to stop them from setting up their own party.
Said Mawan: “I will say a very big no…I object to them joining Barisan Nasional. They can form their own party, and that is their right and it is up to the Registrar of Societies to register them.
“But as for them to join the Barisan Nasional, the Barisan (acceptance) has to be by consensus. We will say a very big no.”
Mawan was asked to comment on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s remarks on the the five leaders who are reportedly in the midst of forming a new party, aimed at returning to BN fold.
The five are the MP for Mas Gading Tiki Lafe and elected representatives Peter Nasian (Tasik Biru), Sylvester Entru (Marudi), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu), and Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau).
They were expelled from SPDP in November last year for gross indiscipline after a two-year bickering with the president.
According to Mawan, Taib had not ‘personally disagreed” with the five forming a new party.
“Taib did not personally disagree with them forming the party. He is talking about the interest of the Barisan Nasional and is talking about the governing principles of Barisan Nasional which I think is right.
“We can’t run Barisan Nasional without some form of fundamental understanding.
“As I said if we take a short cut we may run into some bigger, longer problems in the future.
“I think I am very happy with the sort of n advice, so that we don’t run down each other, ” said Mawan.
On Taib’s suggestion that the party reconcile with the five, Mawan said that anything is possible as SPDP is a “very moderate and very reasonable party”.
“As you know two years for anybody is too long, but to us that is not too long until things become inevitable.
“We are not ruling out reconciliation. The suggestion by the chief minister is reasonable.
“But we have also to look from our party angle. We have to be firm after a point of times in order to avoid the party from being ripped apart.
“It is not for personal reason, or to demonise them, but because of the necessity and the interest of each other, of the party and to certain extent of the Barisan Nasional,” Mawan said alluding to the party’s two-year long attempt at resolving matters with the five leaders.
Mawan added than having said this, the party would not ‘walk away’ from a possibility of reconciliation with the five.
“We will be working towards it if you talk about reconciliation, and we must not walk away from it. We may not be able to achieve a 100 percent form as it used to be. A 70 percent is good enough for BN.
“But if we try to short cut everything towards solving it, then we are running into bigger problems. The process will take a long time to put solution to it.
“We (will simply be) jumping from the frying pan to the fire,” he added.
He said it was also important to consider the feelings of the party members and whilst they had been open to resolving the issues with the five, the later were the ones who are quit the party declaring ‘no confidence on the party leadership”.
Taib nod to BN club
Last Friday Taib had advised the SPDP 5 not to form a new party as they have to face many hurdles.
“It is not a good idea as they have to get the consensus of all Barisan Nasional parties to enable them to be accepted.” Taib said.
He said the five were elected legitimately through the party machinery and though they have quit SPDP they still subscribed to the BN principles and thus they should be left as they were.
“Give them time to probably find a way to reconcile. I think it is not completely impossible,” .
“I think SPDP has much to lose and without five of its elected representatives the party is not in a good position,” he warned.
He however thre his support for the formation of BN club, saying that it should be a non-political movement.
“It is a link point..if they (SPDP 5) want to keep the unity they can use any forum they want provided it is motivated by acceptable motives,” Taib said.