Taib clears the air
by By Peter Sibon, email@example.com. Posted on March 19, 2012, MondayAfter months of uncertainty, it is now confirmed SPDP gets to decide who stands in Mas Gading
BINTULU: A huge sigh of relief resonated throughout Bintulu Civic Centre yesterday when Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud uttered what SPDP members had yearned to hear for a long time – SPDP gets to nominate the candidate for Mas Gading!
Mas Gading has hogged the limelight ever since its MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe was shown the exit by the party recently for gross insubordination. But after his sacking together with four other elected representatives, Dr Tiki continued to trumpet on numerous occasions that he was still very much a BN man and would defend the seat, with or without SPDP.
Dr Tiki’s stand unnerved the SPDP party leadership somewhat because no top BN leadership had cleared the uncertainty even though Mas Gading is traditionally given to SPDP.
The chief minister, who is also state BN chairman, said BN would let SPDP nominate the candidate, while Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as national BN chief will endorse it.
“Well, what I want to do is to let the prime minister have the privilege of analysing who is the most winnable candidate for Mas Gading,” Taib told the media after opening SPDP’s triennial general assembly (TGA) here yesterday.
The five potential candidates identified by the party to defend the predominantly-Bidayuh seat for the BN are Rayan Narong, Anthony Nogeh, Datu Ik Pahon, and brothers William Jinep and Henry Harry Jinep.
Earlier in his speech, Taib gave an assurance that the state BN under his leadership would not interfere in SPDP’s internal problems.
He pointed out that SPDP, like all other BN parties, also had its own internal problems, but it must be patient in dealing with it.
“We will not interfere in SPDP’s internal struggles. I hope it can sink the differences so that voters will vote for the BN, and for the party to win in its four parliamentary seats.”
Taib said he was happy that SPDP was in the same wavelength as PBB in getting ready for the 13th general election to ensure that the state BN delivered at least two-thirds of the 31 seats allocated for Sarawak.
He added that the winning margin was rather conservative as he had much higher hopes than that.
“I have a much higher hope than just the two-third, but I have not really analysed the whole thing yet.”
On PBB, of which Taib is the president, he said he would leave it to the prime minster to decide on the candidates, saying: “If it’s the state election, then I will decide”.
Meanwhile, Taib also gave an assurance that PBB would assist its three other component parties in the general election which is expected to be called soon even though the term of the current Parliament ends only on April 24 next year.
“We will be hard on our heels to help the other component parties in every constituency.”
Traditionally, PBB is allocated 14 seats, SUPP (seven), PRS (six) and SPDP (four).