Mawan (seated centre) addressing a packed press conference to announce that the 10 BN elected representatives are quitting SPDP and SUPP to join Teras. He is flanked by Wong and Nansian (left). — Photo by Chimon Upon
SPDP president, SUPP Sibu branch chief quit parties to join Teras with 8 other BN lawmakers, 1 from SWP
KUCHING: Ten state Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers and Baram MP Anyi Ngau, led by beleaguered party leaders Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom and Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, have quit Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) to join newly-formed Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras).
Joining former SPDP president Mawan and former SUPP Sibu branch chief Wong are state assemblymen Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie (Tasik Biru), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu), Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran (Marudi) and Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) from SPDP and Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) and Ranum Mina (Opar) from SUPP.
A surprise inclusion was opposition Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) deputy president George Lagong who is Pelagus assemblyman.
Mawan made the announcement at a packed press conference held at the media centre of the State Legislative Assembly building after adjournment of the assembly sitting yesterday.
He said his decision to quit followed attempts to “elbow him out” of SPDP because several party leaders were against the recent reinstatement of Nansian, Rosey, Entri and Paulus into the party.
“The reason I brought them back was to strengthen the party. Our decision today is made out of our common desire to continue serving and consolidating Barisan Nasional and solving our problems in SPDP (and SUPP).
“This is not the case of a captain abandoning his ship but more of a mutiny. Somehow, the captain has been thrown overboard. With a big number with us, we hope the state Barisan can accommodate us,” he added.
Mawan said they would apply to become a BN component party.
He believed Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem would work out a formula for them to be included in accordance with the BN Plus arrangement if Teras faced resistance from SUPP or SPDP. Stressing that Teras is a multi-racial party, Mawan called on SPDP and SUPP members to join them in the new political vehicle.
Wong who had been at loggerheads with SUPP president Tan Sri Peter Chin, also spoke at the conference.
“I decided to quit after finding out nothing was forthcoming from the peace plan for SUPP as proposed by the top BN leadership.
“Because of the breakdown in the peace plan, we don’t want to keep quarrelling. We are tired of it. We have to go,” he said.
Asked if there were any other elected representatives who had expressed interest in joining Teras, Mawan said the party is open to all YBs who believe in their struggle.
He said the group was also working to accommodate three state PKR assemblymen – Baru Bian (Ba Kelalan), See Chee How (Batu Lintang) and Ali Biju (Krian) if they were interested to join Teras as part of the party’s consolidation process in preparation for the upcoming state election.
Mawan was adamant, however, that the party had no room for SPDP deputy president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, quipping: “We can’t have two tigers on one mountain.”
Teras’ registration was approved by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) last September. Its current president is Domini Siron Rujin, a general manager of an insurance company here while secretary-general is Banyi Beriak, former SPDP executive secretary.