Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party must decide on its next course of action involving Merluan assemblyman Wong Judat.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) chief William Mawan is in a quandry.
His man Wong Judat has gone rogue and is backing newly registered Sarawak Peoples’ Party (SWP), which incidentally appears to have Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s ‘backing’ but has been scathingly cast aside by state Barisan Nasional component parties.
Judat is the assemblyman for Merluan constituency while Mawan represents Pakan. Both state constituencies fall under the Julau parliamentary administration.
Julau’s MP is Joseph Salang, whom Judat is bent on booting out, and SWP has been ‘assigned’ the job.
Mawan now has to decide on whether to keep Judat or take disciplinary action against him for his anti-PRS stand and for slandering Salang.
Both SPDP and PRS are Barisan Nasional component parties in Sarawak. Between them are 10 parliamentary seats – SPDP’s four and PRS’ six.
SPDP’s four seats are Mas Gading, Bintulu, Baram and Saratok. PRS six seats are Lubok Antu, Sri Aman, Hulu Rajang, Kanowit, Julau and Selangau.
SWP which declared itself a BN-friendly party has already said that it will be contesting in all six PRS seats.
Infuriated PRS leaders and members are now demanding to know SPDP and BN’s stand – will Judat face disciplinary action or not?
Many have cited an incident in the 1990s when Dr Patau Rubis – who was then Assistant Minister in the Taib Cabinet – was sacked from Sarawak National Party (SNAP) after he was found attending a function organised by the opposition.
SNAP was then a member of the BN coalition. The scenario, they claimed, is similar.
For the past few months Judat has been attacking Salang, accusing him of being an outsider as well as calling him a ‘leech’ for allegedly taking away funds for a road project at Nanga Entabai, in Julau.
On Monday night, in a SWP hosted dinner in Sibu, Judat again attacked Salang, who is PRS vice-president, and called on the people to him out. Judat also urged the people to vote out PRS deputy president Joseph Entulu, who is Selangau MP.
Clearly in Judat’s case, he has committed indiscipline on several occasions against PRS leaders.
Based on the latest incident, many PRS and some SPDP members feel Mawan should take action or at least reprimand Judat.
Failure to do so, will not only encourage Judat to be bolder, but it will also affect the relationship between SPDP and PRS.
Mawan’s predicament is understandable. His party has only two state seats left – Pakan and Meluan.
SPDP lost two of its eights state seats in last April’s election. Since then four of its elected reps, who were part of the infamous ‘SPDP 5′, have been sacked for insubordination.
Taking disciplinary action against Judat, including expulsion, would now leave Mawan with only one seat.
But Judat, it appears, does not care because any action taken against him will force him to join SWP.
Judat is noted for his arrogance. Anyone questioning him or crossing his path would certain to be challenged to a fight.
In one particular incident he accused Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu of depriving other divisions in Sarawak of development funds when he (Jabu) moved money meant for projects elsewhere to his area in Betong.
In Sarawak, no BN leader ever dares to chastise or accuse another BN leader, but Judat did.
Judat’s character is a huge contrast with that of Mawan’s.
Mawan who is a Senior Minister in Taib Cabinet is known for his soft voice and diplomatic approach.
Even when the ‘SPDP 5′ passed a ‘vote of no confidence’ on his leadership, Mawan initially refused to take disciplinary action against them.
He only took action (expulsion them from the party) against them after years of protracted leadership crisis.
But so much damage had been done not only to his leadership but also to SPDP.
“That is Mawan’s dilemma,” said one PKR leader.