First batch of former Teras members apply to join PBB

(Front row) Dr Rundi (seventh from left), with Zubrisky (second from
left), Sedau (third from left), Awang Bujang (Sedau’s left), and
Abdullah (sixth from left) in a photo-call with the delegation from Pakan at
PBB Headquarters yesterday.

(Front row) Dr Rundi (seventh from left), with Zubrisky (second from left), Sedau (third from left), Awang Bujang (Sedau’s left), and Abdullah (sixth from left) in a photo-call with the delegation from Pakan at PBB Headquarters yesterday.

KUCHING: The first batch of former Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) members yesterday applied to join PBB.

A delegation from Pakan handed 1,678 membership application forms to PBB secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

Led by ex-Teras Youth leader Zubrisky Bansang, the delegation paid a courtesy call on Dr Rundi at PBB Headquarters at Jalan Bako here.

Among those present were Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Abdullah Saidol, PBB executive secretary Datuk Awang Bujang Awang Antek, Datuk Ambrose Blikau (Katibas assemblyman), Assistant Minister for Rural Economy Julaihi Narawi and Assistant Minister for Public Ultilities (Water Supply) Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn.

Former Teras Pakan deputy branch chairman Tuai Rumah Sedau Empali said the application forms submitted yesterday were merely symbolic because more grassroots members would apply to join PBB later.

“The first batch of applications was delivered to PBB Hq only this morning (yesterday). We (Pakan delegation) were told our applications would have to go through PBB Pakan branch as stipulated under the PBB constitution,” said Sedau.

“We are given two weeks to do it.”

He added that PBB Pakan branch, led by Councillor Jimbun Radin, only had a small number of members, and he believed PBB Headquaters would notify PBB Pakan of the latest development involving former Teras members.

Teras used to have five state assemblypersons including Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom. It had about 30,000 members and boasted of 26 divisions.

After the May 7 state election, in which Mawan retained Pakan as a direct BN candidate, Teras’ leadership decided to dissolve the party as it had exhausted all its purposes.

This resulted in the party calling for en bloc resignations by its Bumiputera members and join PBB while non-Bumiputera members could either join other state BN component parties—SPDP, PRS and SUPP—or form an informal group.

Meanwhile, Teras Miri protem leader Councillor Narmal Singh reacted to the suggestion by stating that the party’s non-Bumiputera members might form a BN Club to further their political struggles.

“To me it (BN Club) is a good idea, but my concern would be what would be its legal standing. Would SPDP, PRS and SUPP again start imposing their views and restrict the functionality of the proposed BN club?” wondered Narmal.

“I agree that the way forward in politics is what our chief minister has said many times—inclusiveness. There is no room for selfishness and narrow mindedness. Whoever is in the position to serve the country well must be given a chance.”

Narmal, who has been in politics for almost 30 years, opined that certain BN leaders should broaden their mindset and not be too engrossed in self pity and self-serving politics.

He said people were watching them dabbling with petty politics instead of tackling `bread and butter’ issues.

“It’s not where you serve from, but how well you want to serve. People must be put first. Why so much fuss as to which party you belong to?”

On SPDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s disagreement with nine direct BN assemblypersons’ plan to join PBB, Narmal said: “Why claim the seat to be yours when we should be thinking of who can best serve the country notwithstanding which party they belong to?

“We humbly urge all this (kind of) leaders to be more realistic and not issue unnecessary statements that may cause misunderstandings.”

Mawan and eight other direct BN lawmakers expressed their intentions last month to join PBB, but Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem advised them to consult and get the blessings of the constituents first.

Adenan gave them until tomorrow to get their constituents’ nod.