KUCHING: The Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) supreme council's authority to sack party members has been questioned by the group of 11 expelled on Friday.
Former party secretary-general Dublin Unting and supreme council member Sidi Munan, who were among those expelled, said the council had no right to take disciplinary action against any party member.
Unting, also state Assistant Minister for Social Development and Urbanisation, said Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob had said recently that with the holding of the fresh party elections in October, the decision of the council to suspend and issue show-cause letters to certain members would no longer be effective.
Munan said the council, headed by acting party president Datuk Daniel Tajem, had gone against the Home Ministrys ruling in its second letter to party secretary-general Stanley Ajang last month that stated the supreme council no longer existed.
PBDS disciplinary committee chief Gabriel Adit had said on Friday that the party leadership stood by the contents of the ministrys first letter, dated March 9, to reinstate the party. That letter recognised the validity of the supreme council before the July 26 party election last year and Tajem as the acting president.
Munan, however, argued that the supreme council, which was elected in the 2000 triennial delegates conference, had served its term as at July 26 last year.
Munan, who was expelled for his involvement in the formation of the proposed Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), said the application to register the new party was made to provide a lifeline to former PBDS members after the party was deregistered by the Registrar of Societies last December.
At that time, the PBDS no longer existed. When the PBDS was reinstated (in March), I announced that we would withdraw the application.
The reason to expel me was therefore not a good excuse, said Munan, who is PRS pro tem chairman.
He said the expulsion of the 11 was to deprive them a chance to contest in the coming party polls.
The 11, who include party vice-president Datuk Sng Chee Hua, are close aides of Datuk Dr James Masing, who is in a leadership tussle with the rival group led by Tajem.
Munan said the action taken by Tajem's group showed that it was never serious in its talks of getting the two factions to reconcile.