THE twists in the current Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) strife just keep getting more and more dramatic.
Now there are tales of confinement, innocent longhouse chiefs forced into the signing of statements they did not agree to, and — wait for it — a police report filed against a certain senior SPDP leader.
Yes, a police report!
Those of you who have been following the saga in the newspapers would probably have read how three longhouse chiefs purportedly issued a signed statement a week ago telling SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom that he was unwelcome in Ulu Teru, Marudi.
According to the reports, Tuai Rumah Henry Gomes, Tuai Rumah Abok Jabu and Councillor Kalang Ami said the people in Ulu Teru perceived Mawan’s visit as highly inappropriate.
The statement said Mawan visiting the area for an event this weekend “would further create factions not only among SPDP members but also supporters of BN in Ulu Teru”.
In what is starting to read like a Jeffrey Archer novel, now TR Henry Gomes, one of those who signed the statement, has lodged the police report.
He alleges that the senior SPDP leader confined him and his two statement co-signees in a hotel room! How dramatic. I can’t help but imagine how three longhouse chiefs could possibly be confined in a room, but at least they would have been comfortable since it was in a hotel!
Henry Gomes also complains in the police report that the three of them were forced to sign the statement telling Tan Sri Mawan to stay away from Ulu Teru. Yes forced. Three mighty longhouse chiefs reduced to being forced to sign a piece of paper against their will.
What a tangled web we weave indeed.
One does wonder though why Henry Gomes took an entire week to file this police report.
Perhaps seeing Tan Sri Mawan in the papers with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin recently has given Henry the, urm let’s say, courage to change his tune.
Now at the end of the day, SPDP Youth chief Robert Ayu seems to be the only sane voice at the moment.
“The general election is just round the corner. If we don’t resolve the dispute, it will have an impact on our party,” he is quoted in The Star as saying.
“The sooner we resolve the problem, the better it will be for the party and Barisan Nasional in Sarawak.”
Well I couldn’t agree more!
The report from The Star:
New twist to SPDP drama
By Stephen Then
MIRI: The internal dispute in SPDP has notched up another dramatic twist.
A longhouse chief from Ulu Baram has lodged a police report here claiming that a senior SPDP leader had confined him and two other chieftains to a hotel room and forced them to sign a statement saying they would prevent SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom from going to the Ulu Teru sub-district for an official visit.
Henry Gomes, the chieftain of Kampung Mission Ulu Teru in Tinjar, Baram district, lodged the report at the Tanjung Lobang police station at 1.09pm yesterday.
In his report, Henry, 45, said he and community leaders Abuk Jabu (tuai rumah) and Kalang Amin (councillor) had gone to Miri on Oct 15 to discuss a development project.
“In Miri, we were taken by the leader to a room at Grand Palace Hotel where we were forced to sign a prepared media statement from him.
“He said that we should sign the statement to stop Mawan’s attendance at a function in Ulu Teru.
“I said I did not want to sign, but the leader said we had to. Abuk and Kalang were also forced to sign,” Henry said in the report, a copy of which was shown to The Star.
In the report, Henry denied making claims that violence would erupt should Mawan proceed with his visit.
The SPDP has been embroiled in a fresh controversy after the SPDP 5 comprising Datuk Sylvester Entri Muran (vice-president), Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie (senior vice-president), Datuk Tiki Lafe (vice-president), Rosey Yunus and Paulus Gumbang (information chief) openly stated that they had lost faith in Mawan.
Shortly after this, several SPDP grassroots leaders aligned to Mawan called for the five to be sacked for staging a mutiny against their party leader.
The party’s leaders in its Lambir and Piasau branches added fire to the situation by claiming that several longhouse chiefs in Ulu Baram aligned to the SPDP 5 were trying to sabotage Mawan’s official visit to Ulu Teru tomorrow.
Henry, in his police report, also said that he, Abuk and Kalang had not issued statements of their own against Mawan’s visit.
Entri, when contacted about the police report, said he would not comment.
SPDP Youth chief Robert Ayu said he was shocked by the news.
“The general election is just round the corner. If we don’t resolve the dispute, it will have an impact on our party. The sooner we resolve the problem, the better it will be for the party and Barisan Nasional in Sarawak.
“The party president has said he is willing to open his doors for discussions to settle the problem.
“Whether the other side is willing to meet him is another thing. At the grassroots level, the SPDP is still united in support for the president.
“The problem has been created by certain people at senior level, and they are dragging the grassroots into the mess.
“I have spoken to many community leaders and the majority of them say they have nothing against the president. There have been no security threats against him,” he said.
On calls for the sacking of the SPDP 5, Ayu said he left it to the party’s seniors and grassroots leaders to recommend the best solution.