MIRI: The Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), in a move to decentralise decision-making, will set up an independent think-tank that will be accorded the powerful role of formulating party policies.
Its president Datuk William Mawan anak Ikom said the think-tank would also function as a panel of advisers to the party supreme council and its decisions would carry a lot of weight.
“The decision to set up a think-tank is a far cry from the days of the deregistered Sarawak National Party (SNAP) where all decisions were made only by certain individual leaders,” he said.
SPDP, admitted into the Barisan Nasional shortly after its formation in November last year, was an offshoot of Sarawak National Party (SNAP).
SNAP was deregistered after failing to resolve its eight-month leadership crisis between a faction led by Mawan and the former president Datuk Amar James Wong.
The crisis was triggered by Wong's sacking of party treasurer and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
Mawan admitted that SPDP supreme council members might not “have the best abilities or brains in the party” to chart its future direction.
“Some of the council members were appointed for a certain role they play, for example, to act as a balancing factor to reflect the racial composition in our party.
“I have to admit that this council does not have the best people to formulate policies.
“We need to set up a think-tank and bring in party members who have professional knowledge and expertise in wide-ranging areas,” he said in a recent interview.
Mawan, who is Sarawak Minister for Environment and Public Health, said SPDP had attracted the attention of many highly qualified professionals from both the government and private sector.
He said many former SNAP members, who are also highly qualified in various fields but did not have the chance to contribute much when SNAP was still in existence, had joined SPDP and wanted to contribute more to help the party.
“In SPDP, the leaders will not grab everything for themselves. We will give others a chance to step forward and be counted,” he said.