Monday, 2 September 2013

New parties: Anxious wait ends today

KUCHING: Sponsors and promoters of five new Sarawak-based political parties that are speculated to have been approved by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) may be present at the ROS Hari Raya cum certificate presentation at its headquarters in Putrajaya today (Sept 2).

Several promoters of PBDS Baru, one of the five parties, when contacted yesterday, said they would be going to Kuala Lumpur for Hari Raya.

On Aug 29, ROS issued an invitation to the mass media to cover their Hari Raya gathering and certificate presentation for new political parties at the headquarters at 3pm today.

Previous reports suggested that 20 new parties might be issued certificates, and many local observers believed five of them are Sarawak-based.

Besides PBDS Baru, the other four parties might be Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Bersatu Sarawak (PERSB), Peace Party and Parti Bumi Kenyalang.

But word from the grapevine is that there could be a United Peoples’ Party (UPP) too.

As far as PBDS Baru is concerned, it is an open secret that partyless Dayaks who are sympathisers of the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) are behind its formation.

PBDS was formed on July 17, 1983, by a splinter group from the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) who was at loggerhead with the then SNAP president – the late Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min.

PBDS, however, did not last long. It failed to resolve a leadership crisis and was deregistered on Oct 21, 2004. This led to the registration of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), which then `replaced’ PBDS in the Barisan Nasional (BN).

SNAP too was deregistered after it failed to resolve a leadership dispute. It led to the registration of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) on Nov 11, 2002. SPDP went on to replace SNAP in the BN.

As for Teras, partyless Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie recently issued a ‘total denial’ statement when asked if Teras was sponsored by him and three other partyless elected representatives. He, however, said Teras might be initiated by members of the Sarawak BN Club.

Nansian, who is also Assistant Minister of Community Services and Assistant Minister of Industrial Development, conceded that he preferred joining any one of the state BN component parties, other than SPDP of

course. SPDP had sacked him and four others for gross insubordination more than a year ago.

Prior to the last general election, Sarawak BN Club members were said to be loyal to the four partyless assemblymen, namely Nansian, Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran (Marudi), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau). Their other member is former Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe.

As for UPP, some believed UPP is meant to replace SUPP in the event the 54-year-old SUPP is deregistered by the ROS in relation to alleged irregularities during the run-up to the triennial delegates’ conference (TDC) in December 2011.

However, SUPP Sibu chairman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh recently denied he was behind the setting up of UPP. SUPP Engkilili chairman Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa was coy when asked whether UPP’s existence is for real.

Wong, who is also Bawang Assan assemblyman, and Dr Rayong, who is Engkilili assemblyman, said their faction were very much with SUPP even though they questioned the party’s handling of the TDC.

Others in Wong’s faction are assemblymen Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang), Datuk Lee Kim Shin (Senadin), Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh) and Ranum Mina (Opar).

In terms of elected representatives, Wong’s faction outnumbers the faction led by SUPP president Tan Sri Peter Chin. Chin’s faction only has Serian MP Datuk Richard Riot Jaem, who is also Human Resources Minister, on his side.

PERSB are said to be sponsored and promoted by some Jatropha entrepreneurs in 2010.

Peace Party is initiated by politicians like Marcus Kanyong and Pok Ungkut. They are familiar names whenever elections are around the corner.

Not much is known about Parti Bumi Kenyalang, but word from the grapevine in 2011 speculated that several Dayak and Chinese politicians with no political affiliations were behind its promotion. According to talks then, the party was keen to take on PRS and SPDP. - theborneopost

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