Sylvester Entri Muran

A political storm seems to be brewing in the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) as some unhappy party members and leaders are said to be planning to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

It is speculated that the EGM will reinstate and maintain the status quo of the party’s office bearers, which saw some changes made by party president Datuk William Mawan Ikom last Saturday.

The crux of the issue is that some members and leaders are against Mawan’s move to drop Sylvester Entri as party secretary-general in the reshuffle.

They claim that the reshuffle runs contrary to “an agreement” reached by the SPDP top leadership on maintaining the status quo after the party polls at the end of last month when almost all office bearers retained their positions unopposed.

After the party elections, Entri was reappointed secretary-general but was dropped by Mawan at the party’s supreme council meeting on Saturday and replaced with Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining.

Entri was given one of the posts of appointed vice-president but he declined to accept it, claiming that Mawan had reneged on his promise.

“I am unhappy as I feel have been cheated by the president who had promised to retain the status quo in the party. He was the one asking for the status quo before the party elections and we obliged,” said Entri when contacted by Bernama. Entri, who is the state assemblyman for Marudi and Sarawak Assistant Minister of Public Utilities, called a press conference yesterday to explain what had transpired at Saturday’s supreme council meeting and why he had declined the position of vice-president.

“There was no consultation and consensus among the supreme council members. We were all caught by surprise and the moment I realised that I had been dropped, I got up and walked out of the meeting,” he said.

Party sources revealed that the removal of Entri sparked a walkout by three state assemblymen, an MP and three members of the supreme council from the meeting.

The assemblymen are Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau); the MP, Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading) and the supreme council members, George Garai, Peter Gani and Ida Iga.

Several party top leaders, when contacted, declined to comment on the matter, while some said the president had the prerogative to make any appointment, particularly to the appointed posts in the party. — Bernama