PBDS given six months to hold elections

  • Nation
  • Friday, 02 Apr 2004


MIRI: The Registrar of Societies (ROS) has directed Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), which is split over an internal power struggle, to hold fresh elections within six months to resolve the party crisis once and for all. 

A neutral referee – the ROS itself – would supervise the elections. 

The registrar issued the directive to both feuding factions – one led by party president Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem and the other by state minister Datuk Sri Dr James Masing – instructing them to hold a general assembly by Sept 18. 

PBDS vice-president Richard Will confirmed that the Iban-majority party must convene a general assembly before the deadline to allow delegates to elect the party president and other office-bearers.  

“All posts will be open for contest, including the president’s post,” he said, adding that the ROS had told both factions that it would act as the neutral third party to supervise the party elections. 

Among other posts are: vice-presidents, secretary-general, supreme council members and division chairmen. 

Will said the ROS had directed both Tajem and Dr Masing to each appoint three representatives to go to its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to make the necessary arrangements for the elections. 

“The ROS wants both factions to agree on a date and venue for the general assembly. As far as I know, both factions have yet to meet the ROS,” he said in an interview here yesterday. 

Tajem and Dr Masing, who was PBDS information chief, had both claimed the presidency after Datuk Amar Leo Moggie stepped down from the post in April last year. 

By virtue of being Moggie’s deputy then, Tajem took over as party president but Dr Masing, who organised his own general assembly, which “elected” him as president, rejected this. 

The ROS stepped in and deregistered the party in December after both factions failed to resolve the crisis. 

The party was given a reprieve and reinstated by the Home Ministry on Mar 18, three days before nomination day last month (for the just-concluded general election). 

To a question, Will said that since the ROS had instructed PBDS to hold elections, it meant that the ROS felt that at present “nobody had a right to stake claim to the party’s top posts.” 

“Until the elections have been held and office-bearers elected, PBDS is technically under ROS' care,” he said.  

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