SADLY the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party’s (SPDP) five elected representatives — known in the media as the SPDP 5 — have decided to come out guns blazing against president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom.
The crisis has been stewing for awhile and really it didn’t seem likely that a simple kiss and make up resolution would be found.
Last month, SPDP’s supreme council decided to censure the five — along with three other supreme council members Peter Gani, George Garai and Eda Igar — for not attending a single meeting since 2009. All eight were referred to SPDP’s disciplinary committee.
Now the SPDP five — senior vice-president Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie, vice-presidents Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran, Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe and Rosey Yunus, and information chief Paulus Palu Gumbang — have come out to say that they have “no confidence and have lost faith” in Tan Sri Mawan.
What a sad time for the party and the Barisan Nasional (BN)!
Datuk Nansian is quoted as saying: “Today (yesterday) is one of the saddest and most regrettable moments of our lives to have come to a point that we have to make a decision to declare that we have lost faith and confidence in our SPDP president.
“He is now apparently no longer able to resolve the current conflict in the party amicably and peacefully to maintain party unity and stability, and to protect and safeguard BN seats vested in the party for a continuously strong BN government for the good of the rakyat.”
Apparently the group believes that Tan Sri Mawan is not serious about resolving the conflict.
The SPDP 5 say that if he was, the president would have formed a reconciliation committee or unity committee, instead of asking the disciplinary committee to take action against them.
According to Datuk Nansian, the SPDP 5 had met with Tan Sri Mawan at least three times formally and more times on informal occasions over the last two years to try to come to an amicable resolution.
However, Datuk Nansian said, points agreed on during the meetings were never implemented.
“On the contrary, he had made many controversial remarks that create much uneasiness and suspicions within the party as well as between BN component parties.
“While we urged him to run the party with principle, consistency, fairness, and with sincerity to maintain party unity and stability, we were labelled as the ‘Rebel 5’ and ‘Group of 5’. So, who actually started the friction and factions in the party?” he is quoted as asking in a Borneo Post report.
The group also claim that the party president uttered many unkind and inconsistent remarks about them and other elected representatives in recent times.
Disunity in the party is blamed for the party’s loss of two seats — Krian and Ba’Kelalan — to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in the April state election.
Now this statement of no confidence brings back memories of another crisis, which actually hit the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) in 2002, after its president Datuk Amar James Wong and his central working committee (CWC) members expelled Bintulu Member of Parliment Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing over a disciplinary issue. Nine CWC members, who were MPs and assemblymen, walked out during the meeting in protest against the expulsion.
Datuk Amar Wong’s refusal to budge to rescind the expulsion order led the group to bring the matter up with the Registrar of Societies (ROS), who later decided to deregister the party.
The group was led by Tan Sri Mawan, who decided to form SPDP.
It would seem that history has somewhat repeated itself. Perhaps karma has decided to bite someone in the ass. I can’t help but think that Datuk Amar Wong is smiling from heaven somehow.
The report from The Borneo Post
SPDP 5 loses faith in chief
By Jacob Achoi and Johnson K Saai
KUCHING: The conflict between Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom and the so-called SPDP 5 seemed to have crossed the Rubicon.
The group, comprising senior vice president Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie, vice presidents Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran, Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe and Rosey Yunus, and information chief Paulus Palu Gumbang yesterday declared that they had “no confidence and have lost faith” in Mawan to resolve the current conflict.
Only four of the members attended the press conference which was held at Nansian’s office at Juara Bertuah in MJC Batu Kawah.
Dr Tiki was absent because he had a function in Bau.
Nansian, who chaired the press conference, said they had called Dr Tiki and were given the blessing to carry on (with the announcement).
“Today (yesterday) is one of the saddest and most regrettable moments of our lives to have come to a point that we have to make a decision to declare that we have lost faith and confidence in our SPDP president.
“He is now apparently no longer able to resolve the current conflict in the party amicably and peacefully to maintain party unity and stability, and to protect and safeguard BN seats vested in the party for a continuously strong BN government for the good of the rakyat,” said Nansian, who read out a prepared statement.
The group said it strongly felt that if Mawan was serious in resolving the conflict, he should have formed a reconciliation committee or unity committee and not a disciplinary committee to take action against it recently.
Nansian revealed that they had met Mawan no less than three times formally as a group and more times on informal occasions over the last two years to smoke the peace pipe.
During these meetings, he said, both sides agreed on many points on how to reconcile and work together to maintain stability and make the party stronger.
“But he (Mawan) did not implement them accordingly. On the contrary, he had made many controversial remarks that create much uneasiness and suspicions within the party as well as between BN component parties.
“While we urged him to run the party with principle, consistency, fairness, and with sincerity to maintain party
unity and stability, we were labelled as the “Rebel 5” and “Group of 5”. So, who had actually started the friction and faction in the party?” Nansian asked.
He added that while they had always been supporting the president and telling him that they wanted him to be their strong leader, Mawan instead uttered many unkind and inconsistent remarks about them and other elected representatives in recent times.
“In the early years of SPDP, when the president worked well with us, the party was very united and stable. But now the party has become weaker, and we lost two BN seats (in the last state election),” he lamented.
Nansian also revealed that while they had agreed on consensus to have status quo in the last party election, Mawan did not keep his promise in the signed statement after the party election.
He, instead, changed a few appointed posts, including that of the secretary-general’s post.
No matter what would happened from this point onwards, Nansian said that the SPDP 5 would continue to give undivided support to the BN leadership at both state and federal levels.
“We will give our full support to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as the national and state BN chairmen respectively. We will swim and sink with BN, under the wise leadership of these two leaders.
“At the same time, we will continue to serve the people in our respective constituencies in the name of Barisan Nasional, since we won the last state election with big majorities under the banner of BN,” he said.
Nansian stressed that they did not have any personal grudges against Mawan.
“We just couldn’t agree with his management of the party as it could undermine the strength of the BN and our ability to serve the rakyat well. We feel that these are of prime importance and must be safeguarded at all times. We put these above our own interest,” he said.
When asked by reporters later, Nansian said what they planned to do now was to look for “the best solution” to resolve the current situation and “we will cross the bridge when the time comes”.
On the show cause letter served on Entrie, he said it was now no longer relevant.
“Our action today (yesterday) tells everything, because when you touched one of us, you touched all of us as a group,” he said, obviously referring to the show cause letter served on Entrie.
He, however, asserted that the group would not quit the party, and reiterated that all they wanted was the “best solution to resolve the conflict”.
Meanwhile, political pundits believed that the declaration by the group of five had spelt the beginning of the end for SPDP, unless a “best solution” could be found.
The Star’s report:
SPDP 5 say party president has failed to amicably resolve internal conflict
By Raynore Mering and Sharon Ling
KUCHING: The quarrel in SPDP has taken a turn for the worse after five of its elected representatives declared that they had lost faith and confidence in their president Tan Sri William Mawan.
“This is World War III,” said Marudi assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran, in capping off a press conference here yesterday with the five representatives dubbed the SPDP 5.
Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, who is the SPDP senior vice-president, said earlier that they had lost faith and confidence in Mawan.
He said their president had failed to resolve the internal conflict amicably and peacefully, maintain the party’s unity and protect the Barisan Nasional’s interest.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back and forced us to make this decision is that if the president seriously wanted to resolve the current conflict, a reconciliation or unity committee should have been formed rather than the disciplinary committee to take action against us, which we feel is very unfair and done solely to chop us off,” said Nansian, who appeared to be the group’s main spokesman.
The other elected representatives invol- ved are Bekenu assemblyman Rosey Yunus, Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang and Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, all supreme council members of the party.
Sylvester, Nansian and Rosey are also assistant ministers.
Mawan and the remaining SPDP supreme council members had on Sept 13 referred the five to the party’s disciplinary com- mittee after they failed to attend the council’s meetings since a walkout about two years ago.
The walkout happened when Mawan decided not to reappoint Sylvester as the party’s secretary-general without first consulting the council.
A show-cause letter was issued to Sylvester, which he has not replied. Although the rest of the group did not receive show-cause letters, they decided to stick together.
“Our stand today is our reply to the show-cause letter,” said Nansian. He said they no longer cared what action the committee would take against them, and that they would on their own find the “best solution” to ensure that they could continue to serve the people as well as the Barisan.
Asked if the best solution was for Mawan to step down, he retorted: “We never said that.”
He refused to divulge what their plans or options were should they be expelled from the party.
He also denied that they had informed or sought advice from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on their move.
“We will cross the bridge when we come to it. Our interest is below that of the Barisan,” said Nansian, when pressed for an answer as to what they could do.
He pointed out that the group had met Mawan formally at least three times over the last two years to seek reconciliation.
According to him, they had agreed on many points to iron out their differences, but Mawan had not implemented them.
“While we urged him to run the party with principles, consistency, fairness and sincerity to maintain party unity and stability, we were labelled as the Rebel 5 and Group of 5. So, who started the friction and faction in the party?” he asked.