Friday, December 17, 2010

SPDP rubbishes talk of swap

E-mail SIBU: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party president William Mawan Ikom is least amused with rumours that he will swap Barisan Nasional-fortress Merluan, for a 'shaky' Kidurong in the coming state elelctions.
"It's rubbish.. just coffee shop talk. Merluan will always be SDPD territory. Why would we swap Merluan for Kidurong.. isn't it silly?" he asked.

Merluan is currently held by SPDP's Wong Judat while Kidurong is a DAP-stronghold held by four-term MP Chew Chiu Sing.
Questioning the motive behind rumours of personality clashes within the BN coalition, Mawan asked: "Are they trying to get me to be at loggerheads with (Sarawak United People's Party president) (George) Chan?”
Ever since Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's declaration that the coallition will only field 'winnable' candidates in the state polls, speculations of keen jostling for seats and positions among members have been rife.
One rumour has it that Judat, who is a second term Merluan assemblyman will not be re-nominated and his Iban majority seat will instead be contested by a Chinese candidate from Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP).
In the exchange, SPDP treasurer-general and Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing is expected to be placed in the mixed Kidurong seat held by DAP.
SUPP is said to be planning to field 'partyless' Pelagus state assemblyman Larry Sng, an assistant minister in the CM's office, in Meluan.
Sng was sacked from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) after a falling out with its president James Masing.
This means that Sng, seen as an upcoming Chinese leader by some, will have to join SUPP first.
But Meluan voters are not likely to lay out the red carpet for Sng although his father Sng Chee Hua was a two-term MP for Julau.
The general sentiment in Merluan is that Judat’s replacement should be a local-born and an Iban.
Najib to decide
According to Bernama thus far at least five locals have shown interest in replacing Wong, who has been criticised for alleged aggressiveness and lack of tack in handling certain issues.
So does this mean the end for Judat?
Mawan said that SPDP had endorsed Wong as candidate, but the final say would have to come from Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as Barisan Nasional chairman and Taib as Sarawak BN head.
He believes that Judat can defend Meluan.
“If he can retain around 40 per cent of his voters, and leaders and supporters of BN component parties continue to support him in the interest and spirit of Barisan, he can and will deliver,” Mawan said.
Mawan, who is the state the Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation, said SPDP would give special attention to the Ba Kelalan constituency.
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, a leading Lun Bawang lawyer on native customary rights to land, is expected to challenge incumbent Nelson Balang Rining, the SPDP secretary-general, for the seat.
Said Mawan: “There may be people out there who think that Balang is not as strong as we think he is. But this is disputable. I have been to the area.”
Mawan believes that Balang can pull through although with a reduced majority.
If Baru is indeed contesting, the Kelabit community will be for Balang. But the Lun Bawang community will be split, Mawan said.
On the party’s overall preparations for the state elections, Mawan said the SPDP was fully ready to defend the eight seats it holds.
“We want to deliver Pakan, Meluan, Krian, Marudi, Tasik Biru, Bekenu, Batu Danau nand Ba Kelalan again to Barisan Nasional,” he said.

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