KUCHING: Former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) secretary-general Sylvester Entri Muran has declined to accept the post of vice-president, claiming party president Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom, has reneged on his earlier promise of maintaining the equilibrium of power in SPDP.
Entri said prior to SPDP triennial general assembly (TGA) last December, Mawan had come up with a ‘presidential line-up’ with him continuing as secretary-general.
But on Saturday, at the party’s supreme council, Mawan said he was exercising his prerogative as president following consultation with members of the supreme council.
Entri was said to have left that meeting before it ended, and yesterday he held a press conference at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel here to deliver a press statement explaining why he was declining the post offered by Mawan.
Most party insiders saw this as a protest by Entri, who probably felt that in his successor, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Nelson Balang Rinin, Mawan wanted nothing less than his most trusted man to hold the secretary-general post.
Entri’s press conference yesterday was also attended by vice-president III, Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, who is National Service Training Council chairman.
“Mawan has abused his prerogative and acted according to the advice of only few members. He has ignored the wishes of the majority,” said Entri, who is Marudi assemblyman as well as Assistant Minister of Public Utilities (Water Supply).
“There were no consultat-ions and consensus before the supreme council meeting. We were all caught by surprise with the announcement by the president,” he said.
Entri said he was recording the proceeding of the meeting when Mawan made his announcement of new appointments, starting with the less important posts and then finally making the ‘shocking announcement’ of dropping him from the secretary-general post.
He said the moment he realised he had been dropped, he got up and walked out of the meeting.
It was also understood that senior vice-president, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian, who is also Assistant Minister of Environment; Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus (appointed vice president); Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang (assistant information chief); and Dr Tiki also walked out of Saturday’s meeting.
Three supreme council members also staged a walk out – Peter Ghani, George Garai and Cr Eda Igar.
According to Entri, Saturday was not the first time that Mawan had acted suspiciously.
He claimed that in August 2009, Mawan announced an open contest for all seats in SPDP but in the end withdrew the decision after his deputy, Assistant Minister of Agriculture and Krian assemblyman Datuk Peter Nyarok Entrie, announced that a status quo was desired.
Entrie and Dr Tiki said they feared that the problem besetting the party now could cause a split if not handled by the party president with “the greatest of care”.
Any such split could disrupt the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) stability, they said.