KUCHING: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) is opening its door to Barisan Nasional (BN)-friendly parties United People’s Party (UPP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) into its fold as long as there is no condition attached to their application.
SPDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing told The Borneo Post yesterday such mergers would strengthen and consolidate the state BN.
“If they are sincere, this move of joining us will consolidate SPDP as well as the BN as a whole, especially in facing the upcoming 14th general election which could be held very soon.”
When asked on the chances of UPP merging with SPDP, Tiong said it was a ‘non-issue’ if they were willing to join without setting any condition as his party’s door is always open for them.
“Our party actually has an open policy to accept those who subscribe to BN principle. So we are ever ready to accept UPP leaders and their supporters into SPDP without any condition.”
However, the Bintulu MP said that any application to join SPDP would have to be discussed in its Supreme Council meeting.
“SPDP doesn’t belong to me, the Supreme Council has to decide the next step of action,” stressed Tiong.
SPDP’s move to open its door to UPP comes on the heel of its decision to welcome back its former president Tan Sri William Mawan and members of Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) .
If these mergers were to materialise, SPDP will have nine state assemblymen and four MPs.
At the moment the party has three assemblymen Dato Henry Harry Jinep (Tasik Biru), Datu Penguang Manggil (Marudi) and Roland Duat Jibin (Meluan) and three MPs Tiong – himself, Anthony Nogeh (Mas Gading) and Anyie Ngau (Baram).
Besides being the Pakan assemblyman, Mawan is also the MP for Saratok while the five assemblymen in UPP are Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan), Datuk Tiong Thai King (Dudong), Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Dato Ranum Mina (Opar) and Dr Johnical Rayong (Engkilili).
The admission of both Teras and UPP members into SPDP will lessen the headache of State BN chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem who wished that these two BN friendly parties could be admitted into BN but admitted that it was impossible due to the ‘principle of ‘unanimity’ agreed upon by the BN component parties.
“As long as they support BN, that’s all I requested. But if they ask to join BN, SPDP will object, SUPP will object. And because of the unanimity principle, they will not be admitted into BN,” Adenan told The Borneo Post in his interview at his residence at Santubong last Tuesday.-BH