MIRI: Despite five elected representatives of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) declaring a loss of confidence in party president Tan Sri William Mawan’s leadership, the latter still has faith in them.
He said Datuk Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru assemblyman), Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran (Marudi assemblyman), Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading member of parliament), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu assemblywoman) and Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau assemblyman) were among those whom he felt could take over from him to lead the party in the future.
“I have a lot of faith in them, have a lot of hope in them, people who can take over from me in the future. After all, I was the one who brought them up. I’m not saying they are not good. I’m not saying that they are wrong,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after officiating a leader-meet-the-people session at Rumah Panjang Henry Gomes, a longhouse located in Ulu Teru, Baram, an eight-hour drive from here last night.
Nansian, who is SPDP senior vice-president, along with vice-presidents Entri, Dr Tiki, Rosey and information chief Paulus, have been at logger-heads with Mawan, following their refusal to attend the party’s supreme council meetings held over the last two years.
The group, dubbed ‘SPDP 5’, claimed that Mawan failed to fulfil his promise to maintain the status quo in the party’s line-up by replacing Entri with former Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining as secretary-general.
This prompted Entri and the other four to stage a walk-out. Since then, they have been absent from the party’s highest body meetings.
On a show-cause letter issued to Entri last month, Mawan said it was just part of the investigation process carried out by the party’s disciplinary committee and should not be viewed as punishment.
“Even now, my doors are still open but at the same time, you cannot compromise with the party’s mechanism. We have a system. I cannot (simply) throw this (party rules and regulations) away,” he said, while declining to elaborate more on the issue as the inquiry was ongoing.
On his visit to Ulu Teru, which coincidentally is in the state constituency represented by Entri, Mawan, who is also state senior minister and minister of social development, said his presence was to interact with the locals there and to find solutions to problems they currently faced.
Dismissing earlier speculation he was not welcome to Ulu Teru, he said the people who came were more interested to have their problems heard by their leaders and wanted to know more on the government’s development plans for them.
“This is not an arena to sort out internal party issues. The public wanted to hear about stories of development, who loved the government. The image of Barisan Nasional (BN) must always be safeguarded,” he said.
He said his visit was also part of the preparations to face the coming parliamentary election in Baram, where the party had recommended their senior vice-president, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan, who is also international trade and industry deputy minister, to be retained as the BN candidate.
During the session, which was attended by about 4,000 local folks from 62 longhouses around Ulu Teru, Baram, Mawan announced a grant of RM30,000 for Rumah Henry Gomes and RM20,000 to repair Sekolah Kebangsaan Pengiran Entri’s futsal court located nearby.
He also recommended SK Pengiran Entri to be adopted under his ministry and would direct his officers to plan out sports programmes for the school.