Tiong: SPDP ready to accept Teras leaders

SIBU: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) will leave its door open to Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) leaders including its president Tan Sri William Mawan.

However, if Mawan were to re-join SPDP, he would have to return as an ordinary member, insisted SPDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

“If he wants to come back, (he will) come back as ordinary member. He cannot come back as supreme council member.

“(As for the position of) president, he has to go through election of the party. Not for me to decide but the delegates to decide,” Tiong told a press conference after chairing SPDP’s supreme council meeting at a hotel here on Sunday evening.

The same rule would apply to direct BN candidates for Bekenu (Rosey Yunus) and Batu Danau (Paulus Palu), he pointed out.

“(For) Rosey and Paulus, they can all come back as ordinary members. Actually, for Rosey and Paulus, from day one, we agreed to take them back but towards the end, the chief minister (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem) said leave them alone to be BN direct.

“We respect the chief minister’s decision,” said Tiong.

He insisted that there should be no more Teras and UPP (United People’s Party) after the May 7 11th state election.

“After election there will be no Teras, no UPP. They (direct candidates from Teras and UPP) must go back to join BN component parties.

“If people (these candidates) don’t want to join, they can remain as BN independent,” Tiong said, adding that the arrangement was confirmed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a meeting attended by both Adenan and himself earlier on Sunday in Sibu.

Traditionally, SPDP is allocated eight seats – Pakan, Krian, Ba Kelalan, Meluan, Tasik Biru, Marudi, Bekenu and Batu Danau by BN.

Due to infighting, part of its leadership had left to form Teras.

As of Sunday night, state BN chairman Adenan had announced direct candidacy for three of the seats traditionally allocated to SPDP but held by Teras leaders – Bekenu, Batu Danau and Pakan (to be contested by Mawan as direct BN candidate).

Mawan was SPDP president before the fallout.

On SPDP seats being allocated to direct candidates and not SPDP party members, Tiong acknowledged that there was a lot of frustration among members as expressed during the supreme council meeting.

“In this meeting, there were a lot of noises and frustration coming out, but towards the end, we managed to cool down and we are moving forward,” said Tiong.

He declared that the party would not field proxy candidates in constituencies allocated to direct candidates nor leave BN as rumoured.

“We would like to confirm that we will not plant any independent or support independent in any way.

“Whoever (party members) want to stand as independent, if they did not resign from the party, we will expel them,” stressed Tiong.

He reiterated the party’s stance of being with BN and would not leave the coalition despite the party’s seats being allocated to direct candidates of its splinter party Teras.

“I am here to confirm that we all the while have been with BN and support BN, and we will not leave BN even at this present situation.

“We agree with what the prime minister had said that today we may lose something, it does not mean that we will lose all the time.

“Maybe tomorrow we will gain something. There is give and take,” declared Tiong.-Borneo Post

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