The re-emergence of SPDP’s ‘Group of Five’?

Posted on May 26, 2011


I have to tip my hat off to SPDP.

They seemed to have a “problem” just before the recent State Election, but just when it mattered most they seemed to close ranks and got the job done.

And although sadly they lost their Krian and Ba’Kelalan seats, it was arguably because of the quality of candidates fielded and maybe even the quality of the individual opponents they were up against. That’s up for debate.

This ability to put aside internal bickering to accomplish a larger goal though, is admirable.

It shows maturity and a certain level of unity and discipline in this political organisation. I admire that.

As for the “problem” I’m alluding to, it is none other than the five “rogue” representatives in the party that have been famously dubbed the “Group of Five”.

They were a thorn in the side of the party president before the polls, then seemed to be united again for the elections…and now just over a month after the polls looks likely to continue where they left off.

In short, it’s back to politics as usual in SPDP.

I can’t confidently say that I have the insight to properly analyse what’s going on in SPDP, but maybe we can conclude that there is a power struggle in the party right now. Duh!

We have the Group of Five in one corner and the President’s Men in the other corner.

I’ll leave the details of this match-up to our State’s more distinguished political bloggers.

It will definitely be an interesting fight to watch, especially to see which YB follows which camp.

Whatever the outcome, at least we can be consoled by the prospect that SPDP won’t let internal disputes get in the way of winning general elections.

But, as always, it’s still early days so let’s just wait and see.

SPDP group questions president’s silence

Posted on May 26, 2011, Thursday

POLLS POSTMORTEM: SPDP 5 members (seated from left), Paulus, Nansian, Entrie and Rosey conducted their own postmortem in Kuching yesterday on their party’s performance in the last state election.

MIRI: A group of SPDP members, including the ‘Group of Five’ members, is concerned about the party’s future and the “deafening silence” of their party president after the April 16 polls.

They are concerned because in the 10th state election, SPDP lost two seats — Krian and Ba’ Kelalan.

The party’s number two Datuk Peter Nyarok Entrie lost in Krian while the other casualty was its candidate for Ba’ Kelalan who replaced the party’s secretary-general Nelson Balang Rining .

In a statement obtained by The Borneo Post yesterday, the group said they were puzzled by the continued silence of their leader because all other parties, including the opposition, had commented on their respective performances and some even laid bare their future plans.

“Almost six weeks have passed by since the April state election. All parties, Barisan National as well as the opposition, have commented on their victories and losses and their way forward, except SPDP.

“The silence is deafening,” they said. Ironically, the state assemblymen among the “rebel” group (SPDP 5) were re-elected with handsome winning margins. Members of the group are Marudi assemblyman Sylvester Entrie Muran, Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie (Tasik Biru), Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau) and Rosey Yunus (Bekenu).

The fifth member is Mas Gading MP Dr Tiki Lafe. Branded as SPDP’s “Group of Five” after they protested a decision made by the president in their last Triennial General Assembly (TGA), both camps patched up before the recent state election.

The group met in Kuching yesterday to review the performance of the party in the election and to share their postmortem findings. They also wanted to know the direction of the party and its preparations for the coming general election.

“For example, has the party election machinery been properly mobilised to ensure a clean sweep in the state election? Were the political secretaries, senator, Wanita, Puteri and Pemuda Wings mobilised in the last state election and for the coming parliamentary election?” the group asked.

But their key concern was on the loss of Ba Kelalan and Krian.

“In Ba Kelalan, the loss has been attributed to a new face, a novice. Such an explanation is acceptable. However, the same excuse would seem rather lame when applied to Krian, an SPDP stronghold in the Sarawak hinterland.

It is a safe seat held by a veteran, who is also the deputy president of SPDP, who lost miserably by over 2,000 votes to a PKR candidate,” it said.

The group also pointed to the SUPP leadership, which had expressed their willingness to take full responsibility for their humiliating losses and to chart a new course of action for the party, and compared it to the silence in their own party.

SPDP president Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom retained Pakan but his seat was also the only one in which the SNAP candidate did not lose his deposit.

SNAP contested in 26 seats but 25 of their candidates lost their deposits.