KUCHING: The defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) is said to be given a new lease of life as Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru).
A source told The Borneo Post yesterday that the Registrar of Societies (ROS) made the decision to approve the application for PBDS Baru during a meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.
The source said state ROS director Ken Leben attended the meeting, but The Borneo Post could not reach him for confirmation at press time.
The source is confident the state ROS might make an official announcement on the matter next week.
PBDS Baru pro-tem chairman Louis Jarau, in an interview with The Borneo Post in June 2011, said the application to register PBDS Baru was made on March 26, 2010.
Jarau, who is a practising lawyer based in Sibu, said the pro-tem committee had chosen PBDS Baru as its new name.
This follows Umno’s move to re-establish Umno as Umno Baru when the party was declared an unlawful society in 1987 following internal conflicts between ‘Team A’ led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and ‘Team B’ by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Jarau said the idea to form PBDS Baru was based on feedback garnered from across the state.
When asked whether PBDS Baru would focus solely on the struggles of the Dayaks, Jarau affirmed that the party would continue its struggles for those confined to the term Dayak.
The definition of the word `Dayak’ under Article XXIII of the constitution of PBDS Baru meant ‘people’, where the context would include all Malaysians born or domiciled in the State of Sarawak.
PBDS was established in 1983 by Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Leo Moggie, seceding from Sarawak National Party (SNAP).
The height of PBDS struggles came in the snap 1987 state election called by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud following a political crisis in the state dubbed the ‘Ming Court Affair’.
In that election, PBDS won 15 seats while another opposition party Permas won five.
The Barisan Nasional coalition won 28 of the 48-seat State Legislative Assembly. Later, eight PBDS assemblymen defected to the BN.
PBDS remained in the opposition until it was re-admitted into the State BN in 1994.
It was deregistered on Dec 5, 2003. However, it was reinstated on March 9 the following year, only to be deregistered again on Oct 21, 2004.
Former PBDS leaders who were aligned to Tan Sri Dr James Masing formed Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), which was approved by the ROS and duly accepted into BN on the very day PBDS was deregistered in 2004.