Nine party-less assemblymen want to join PBB


By YU JI

Dr Jerip (in blue shirt) said ‘all layers of society’ in his Bengoh constituency would have to be consulted on the tricky situation. — filepic

KUCHING: Nine party-less Barisan Nasional-friendly assemblymen are adamant about joining Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

The assemblymen told reporters here yesterday that they would resubmit their membership application letters by the end of this month.

Former United Peoples Party (UPP) youth chief Dr Johnichal Rayong Ngipa also insisted that despite what his former party might be saying, he has quit.

“Yes we resigned already. (It’s not) up to the party to recognise it or not. Officially, we have resigned,” he said.

“To resign was a condition to stand as a Barisan direct candidate in the state election. We sent in our resignation (letters) in front of the Chief Minister (Tan Sri Adenan Satem) before the election,” he added.

Dr Rayong declined to comment further when asked about accusations of disloyalty. He is one of three former UPP members who are now applying to join PBB, the largest party in terms of elected representatives in Sarawak.

Three other former members of Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), the breakaway party of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SDPD), have also applied to join PBB.

At the same time, another three former PBB elected representatives have made clear their intention to rejoin.

The ex-PBB trio were fielded as Barisan direct candidates in disputed seats with SPDP and Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP).

If PBB accepts all nine eventually, the party would command the support of 49 out of 82 seats in the state assembly.

It would have more than a simple majority, not needing any of the component parties of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), SUPP and SPDP.

Dr Rayong told reporters yesterday he would return to his constituency to seek voters’ feedback on his move to join PBB.

Ex-UPP deputy president Datuk Dr Jerip Susil also said “all layers of society” in his Bengoh constituency would have to be consulted.

“That is what the CM wants. Our community leaders and non-governmental bodies have to give their input as well. It’s like a referendum,” Dr Jerip said.

Yesterday, a frontpage report by a Sarawak-based English daily quoted ex-SPDP and Teras president Tan Sri William Mawan as saying the nine party-less assemblymen would almost certainly end up in PBB.

The delay was caused by “formality”, he said.

“The Chief Minister has said so himself that if I insist (on joining PBB), I will be accepted,” Mawan said.

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