Thursday, February 2

Awang Tengah denies meddling

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Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan

KUCHING: PBB senior vice-president says he has nothing to do with SPDP’s internal problems.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice-president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan has denied accusations that he has meddled with the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party’s (SPDP) internal affairs.

The Minister of Public Utilities said he has nothing to do with SPDP referring five of its elected representatives to the party’s internal disciplinary committee, as this was against his principles.

The so-called ‘SPDP Five’ could face disciplinary action for failing to attend the party’s supreme council meetings over the last two years.

They are senior vice-president Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie (Tasik Biru assemblyman), vice-president Sylvester Entri Muran (Marudi assemblyman), vice-president Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe (Mas Gading Member of Parliament) and supreme council members: Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang.

“This is news to me. I have nothing to do with it and I have never interfered in the affairs of other component parties,” Awang Tengah told the media at the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation Hari Raya celebration on Tuesday night.

“Why should I interfere (in the affairs of other component parties) as that could weaken the BN.”

Awang Tengah said he is sure that SPDP’s members would be able to find solutions internally.

“I am sure they will resolve whatever problems they have.”

He stressed that the spirit of the Barisan Nasional was to help other members if they needed any assistance.

“That’s the kind of spirit we are talking about. That we must work closely and remain united and strong.”

He said his name could have been dragged into the SPDP situation because of his close working relationship with Entri, who is Assistant Minister of Public Utilities (Water Supply).

“This (allegation of interference) is too much because Sylvester Entri is my assistant minister and we have to work together. I hope I am not dragged into their internal affairs,” added Awang Tengah.

SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom had said that the five would be referred to the disciplinary committee as their actions could threaten the existence of the party.

He also warned that the five could face expulsion depending on the committee’s findings.

Meanwhile, in a related development, disciplinary committee head Dr Syafiq Abdullah said the committee had yet to send letters to the ‘SPDP Five’ as the committee still needed time to sort things out.

“Once everything is in place, then we will inform them,” he said.

LOOKING SMART: Uniformed personnel going through their paces during a rehearsal to prepare for the grand celebration of Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin’s 90th birthday this Saturday. To be held at Padang Merdeka, Kuching, the celebration will see various colourful and exciting events to mark the day. — Photo by Chimon Upon

READY FOR GRAND CELEBRATION: A guard-of-honour is seen in front of banners showing the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and his wife. This scene was captured at Padang Merdeka in Kuching yesterday during the rehearsal for the Head of State’s birthday this Saturday.