KUCHING: The 60-hour deadline for dropped Saratok incumbent Jelaing Mersat and his followers to return to SPDP’s fold is over and there appears to be a slim chance of them returning.
Nonetheless, SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom, who issued the deadline on April 23, is still harbouring hope though not immediate.
It is learnt that the former Deputy Home Minister’s reluctance to return to the fold within the stipulated time had caused great disappointment on Mawan’s side but it did not last long.
There is hope in the gloom when PKR supreme council member and Saratok chairman John Antau unexpectedly pledged his support to Mawan.
“The chances (for Jelaing and his followers to return) are getting slimmer as the 60-hour deadline has passed.
“However, we are glad to note that Antau from PKR is jumping over, pledging his support to us in Saratok and bringing a group of probably more than 20 to join us,” Mawan told The Star yesterday.
Antau was initially earmarked to be fielded as PKR’s candidate in Saratok when speculation on the general election first started in 2012.
Jelaing had abandoned Mawan after the top Barisan leadership announced its decision to drop him from the Barisan candidates line-up and replaced him with Mawan.
The Saratok seat is now locked in a three-cornered battle with Independent Rosli Lek and PKR’s Ali Biju, who is also Krian assemblyman.
Last Monday, Mawan called upon Jelaing and his supporters to come back to their senses and return back to SPDP, after online news portals and blogs reported that the latter and some of his supporters had pledged their support to PKR and Ali Biju.
Mawan said he was willing to forgive and advised them to reconsider their actions before they drifted deeper to a point of no return.- thestar online