PBDS reconciliation on the cards

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 04 Apr 2004

KUCHING: A reconciliation between the two factions in Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) may be on the cards as party president Datuk Daniel Tajem has made the first move by appointing several in the rival group as supreme council members. 

They are the leader of the rival faction, Datuk Dr James Masing, and two of his key supporters – Hulu Rejang MP Billy Abit Joo and businessman Sim Lai Ann. 

Party secretary-general Stanley Ajang Batok said the appointments were made by Tajem in an effort to enhance party unity and to achieve some measure of consolidation. The appointment letters, he added, would be sent out tomorrow.  

“I hope they will be accepted with magnanimity and in the right spirit,” Ajang said yesterday. 

Dr Masing, also state Social Development and Urbani-sation Minister, had his appointment as party information chief withdrawn when Datuk Amar Leo Moggie stepped down as president in June last year. 

The 21-year-old party, deregistered by the Registrar of Societies four months ago, was reinstated last month after its successful appeal to the Home Minister. 

Ajang said, in accordance with the Home Minister’s order, the party would function with Tajem as the president and a supreme council made up of those who were members and office bearers prior to last July’s triennial delegates conference. 

However, three of the supreme council members – Richard Wil Uban, Philimon Nuing and Sidi Munan – have since formed a new party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, which has yet to be approved. 

Ajang said the supreme council might have to decide on the status of these three members later. 

Several council members are aligned to Dr Masing's group. They include vice-president Datuk Sng Chee Hua, Youth chief Joseph Entulu Belaun, also newly appointed Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, and former Selangau MP Joseph Mauh. 

One of the 27 council members, Anthony Liman Sujang, had resigned on the eve of the recent parliamentary elections to contest in Selangau under the opposition Sarawak National Party symbol. 

The council will meet on April 24. Ajang stressed that the supreme council, headed by Tajem, would manage and decide on party matters. 

“Any notion that it merely occupies a caretaker status must immediately be dispelled,” he added.  

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