KUCHING: Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) is a new name given to an “old party”, but its pro tem president Dr Ong Lark Sai is reluctant to delve into its past.
“What’s in the past should remain in the past,” he said when asked to comment on how SWP came about.
Speaking to The Star yesterday, Dr Ong took great pains to go round the fact that SWP was in fact Sabah People’s Front (SPF).
Rather careful with his words, Dr Ong said SWP received its “certificate of amendment” from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) more than two weeks ago.
Asked what the amendment was, he said it was to allow the party to hold its first general meeting and finalise its committee line-up, which it had to submit to the ROS in Putrajaya.
He said when this was done SWP could then participate in the coming general election.
“We received our certificate (of amendment) about two weeks ago. Of course, we do things quietly and discreetly.
“We will be having our first general meeting to finalise our line-up very soon,” he said.
But if Dr Ong was guarded about SWP’s past, ROS senior assistant director Desmond Das was quick to say that SWP was not a new party.
According to him, SWP is the new name given to the old SPF, a Sabah-based opposition party registered in December 2010 and whose president was one by the name of Berman Angkap.
“The name change is legal as provided for under Section 11 of the Societies Act 1966,” Desmond said.
“What was revealed to me was that the old SPF members, with agreement from its executive committee members, decided not to go on.
“They said they had not won anything since it was registered and they were facing financial constraints.
“So they decided that rather than kill the party they might as well let others take it over and make use of it,” Desmond further revealed.
He said following the takeover, the old SPF members were now defunct.
Desmond went on to confirm that all SWP needed to do to legally contest in the coming parliamentary elections was to hold its general meeting and confirm its executive committee line-up.
On the certificate of amendment, Desmond said it generally acknowledged the amendment of the party’s law.
“All SWP needs to do now is to finalise its committee line-up and submit it to us.
“We give a time frame till the end of this year for SWP to submit its line-up, but the party can even submit it to us tomorrow. It is up to the party. We cannot interfere with its internal matters.
“But I believe SWP might be having its first general meeting within this one week,” Desmond added.