BINTULU (Bernama) – Going by the spirit of consensus which the Barisan Nasional (BN) subscribes to, there is practically no chance for the United People’s Party (UPP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) to join the coalition.
This was confirmed by Sarawak Chief Minister and state BN chairman Tan Sri Adenan Satem who said the BN had long adopted the rule that if any one component party objected to the admission of new parties, then “they (the new parties) cannot come in”.
“Not likely,” he responded to the media today when asked on the possibility of UPP and Teras being accepted into the state BN.
Adenan had earlier attended the opening of the triennial general assembly of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) by Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy BN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the Bintulu Civic Centre.
Adenan said, however, that though the new parties could not join the state BN, it would not stop these parties, which claimed to be BN-friendly, to be part of the government.
Teras president Tan Sri William Mawan, who is the former SPDP president, said on Nov 30 that the party would apply to join BN at the federal level in “due course” but the current SPDP acting president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing had objected to Teras joining the BN.
Mawan (assemblyman for Pakan), along with four other assemblymen – Datuk Peter Nansian (Tasik Biru), Datuk Sylvester Entrie (Marudi), Rosie Yunus (Bekenu) and Paulus Gumbang (Batu Danau) – quit SPDP in the middle of this year and joined Teras.
UPP is led by Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, the state minister of local government and community development, who was formerly the assistant secretary-general of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP). He left the party in May this year after a protracted leadership crisis and SUPP objected to UPP wanting to join the BN.
Besides SPDP and SUPP, the state BN comprises Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the backbone of state BN coalition, and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).
Adenan, when asked to elaborate on what he had said in his speech about avoiding three-cornered fights in the next state elections, said that previously the elections would see contest among opposition, BN and independent candidates but now, with many political issues, the situation had changed and a split in the votes could affect the BN’s chances of winning.