QUIITING SPDP: Jelaing (centre) and about 300 SPDP supporters make known their displeasure over the nomination of Mawan to stand in Saratok.
SARATOK: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) senior vice-president and Saratok MP Jelaing Mersat, who is not selected by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to defend the seat has threatened to rally party members here to go against party president Tan Sri William Mawan in the election.
Jelaing, who is also Deputy Minister of Transport, was among the 320 SPDP members who expressed their intention to quit the party with immediate effect to protest against the candidacy of Mawan in Saratok.
The apparently disgruntled members claimed they were not consulted on the change of candidate. They also claimed that the BN did not consider the views of grassroots leaders.
“The action (of the BN and SPDP) is a reflection of their disrespect to the wish of the people,” Jelaing said when met at Rumah Dayak in Saratok yesterday.
He also claimed that grassroots leaders were once united to defend SPDP but not this time as they were disillusioned by the latest political development.
“I feel betrayed. I would accept the BN decision if I were told about the change of candidate a long time ago especially if I were entrusted to groom a new candidate.”
“However, every time I asked the party president (Mawan) if I will be re-nominated, he replied in the affirmative saying my name was the only one submitted (to the BN).
“Then when the Chief Minister announced the candidate list, I was shocked to hear the party president being nominated to replace me,” he said.
He claimed some grassroots leaders were unhappy with the BN decision to replace him with Mawan.
Jelaing warned that if BN went ahead and nominate Mawan his group would not support the party president.
“This is our opinion and the top BN leadership must listen to us to ensure that BN retains the seat,” an irate Jelaing said.
When asked if he would stand as an independent, Jelaing said he certainly would if the grassroots supporters wanted him to.
Meanwhile, SPDP lawyer Chambai Lindong in his facebook posted yesterday listed the four resolutions passed by PSDP Bahagian Krian and Kalaka divisions which included disagreement with the candidacy of William Mawan in Saratok, request for proper and full consultations with the two divisions should Jelaing be replaced and en mass resignation of members of these two divisions.
The last resolution was to set up a special committee comprising Jelaing and four others to formulate further course of actions.