by Peter Sibon and Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith, email@example.com. Posted on January 22, 2013, Tuesday
JOYFUL BUNCH: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth chief Datuk Fadillah Yusof with students of SK Merpati Jepang after presenting the RM100 schooling aid to them.
State BN leaders brush off online report of conspiracy to oust Taib in next PBB convention
Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom
KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom rubbishes an online report that there is a conspiracy among senior members of the party to topple party president Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
The Sarawak Report on Sunday revealed that it received an explosive dossier from sources close to Taib detailing a powerful conspiracy to depose him at the next PBB Party Convention, due in May.
The report alleged that the high-level defectors led by Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan would maintain a pretence of unity during the coming general election, expected in March, but had collected enough supporters, including Taib’s own close family members. to oust him in May.
Sarawak Report also said that the informers had passed the information to it “in desperation”.
The report also alleged that Awang Tengah had gathered 30 members of the state legislative assembly to take his side in the takeover of the state’s ruling coalition.
Dr Rundi said the news portal’s allegation was the opposition’s ploy to weaken Barisan Nasional (BN) in the state before the general election.
“Leaders from all levels are still solidly behind Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to continue to lead the party. Even if he decided to leave we will convince him to stay on because he is the pillar of our strength,” Dr Rundi told The Borneo Post here yesterday.
The Assistant Minister of Public Utilities also stressed that the party’s tradition would ensure that there would be no struggle for power among its rank for the top post.
Meanwhile, PBB Youth chief Datuk Fadillah Yusof also refuted the allegation by saying that the public should not take the report seriously.
“We should not simply believe all the things reported in the Sarawak Report online news. The government has proven numerous times that reports published in the news portal were baseless and pure exaggeration,”
Fadillah, who is also Petra Jaya MP and Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, said this after presenting the RM100 schooling aid to pupils at SK Merpati Jepang here yesterday.
PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing, who was speculated to be appointed as a Deputy Chief Minister I in the alleged conspiracy, laughed off the report and assured that his party’s loyalty to Taib was unshakable and not transferable.
“The report by The Sarawak Report on PBB is pure speculation. I don’t want to get involved in other party’s affairs as I don’t want others to get involved in my party’s affairs. I consider interference into others internal affairs seriously. So I refrain from doing so,” said Masing, who is also Minister of Land Development.
SUPP Bengoh chairman Dr Jerip Susil concurred with Masing, saying he did not want to delve into such speculations.
“PBB’s affair has to be respected. The party has its own tradition to choose its own leader,” he said.
The Assistant Minister of Public Health said such speculations could undermine BN’s preparation for the fast-approaching general election.
“This is the time for all the BN component parties to come together for the general election and not a time to speculate this kind of serious issue,” he said.