Former leaders of deregistered PBDS claim there are still 100,000 ex-members who are awaiting its registration and return.
KUCHING: Is the revival of the de-registered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) a threat to James Masing-led Party Rakyat Sarawak (PRS)? Is that why PRS secretary-general Wilfred Nissom unleashed a volley of questions at its former PBDS leaders?
In a SMS message to FMT following reports that former PBDS leaders had met up at a reunion dinner and the party’s status was discussed, Nisson asked: “What are these ex-PBDS members up to in reviving the party?
“Is it a response to PRS’s stance? Or is it going to contribute to Dayak solidarity?”
Nissom said it is crucial that protem officials of PBDS Baru, which is pending registeration, explain their status.
“Is it [PBDS Baru] going to contest PRS’ claim of being the continuation of PBDS?
“Or is it going to recover the Dayak majority seats that PRS cannot claim back due to the fact that PRS is a member of the Barisan Nasional?
“How PBDS Baru chooses to answer these questions will determine whether the party can be said to be good or otherwise for Sarawak and Dayaks in particular,” he said.
PBDS was deregistered on Oct 21, 2004 when Masing, who was then PBDS publicity chief and Sng Chee Hua, then PBDS senior vice-president, were attempting to dislodge Daniel
Tajem as PBDS president in the 2003 party triennial delegates’ conference.
Tajem’s team mate was Joseph Salang.
100,000 members partyless
The challenge created an unresolved leadership crisis which led to the party to be deregistered in October 2004. It was the same day Masing formed PRS.
Masing is the PRS president.
Of 148,000 members, some 40,000 are now with PRS and other parties including BN component parties.
But more than 100,000 of them have remained partyless until today and their anger against Masing is just like the “embers of a fire”. They have blamed Masing for the crisis.
Masing, they said, chose to side with Sng instead of Salang.
In the effort to get rid of Tajem, Masing cooperated with Sng to destroy PBDS and was blind to the real character of Sng.
The Ibans likened Masing’s association with Sng to “Kumang nupi sawa” (Kumang rearing a python) which in the end would devour him.
(When they formed PRS, Sng, who was deputy president then, tried to get rid of Masing in May 2006. Sng’s efforts almost landed PRS in big trouble including deregistration)
Meanwhile, responding to Nissom’s questions, Louis Jarau, protem president of PBDS Baru, said there is nothing for Nissom or PRS to be afraid of as their efforts to register PBDS Baru do not concern him or his party.
“We are not disturbing other people. We just want the party to be registered. Is anything wrong with that?
“It is yet to be registered, so why are you so concerned with PBDS Baru?” he said, pointing out that PRS should be more concerned with the coming general election as Sarawak Workers Party is after them.
PBDS Baru no concern of PRS
PBDS Baru no concern of PRS
Jarau said that the purpose of reviving the party was to continue with the struggle left unfinished with PBDS’ deregistration.
“We don’t want to pick quarrel with anybody. Whosoever is partyless and shares our struggle can join our party once it is registered.
“As a Dayak-based party, PBDS Baru will be the platform for the Dayaks to voice their concerns. This will be the difference between PBDS Baru and PRS which is a multi-racial,” he said.
He lamented that as of now no party, especially in BN, has expressed concern over the way the Dayaks are being treated.
On the coming election, Jarau said: “We never think about it. Our priority is to get the party registered.
“If it cannot be registered under this present government, we will wait for a new government that can be more sympathetic to our cause.
“I am sure things will change after the general election,” he added.
Before its deregistration, PBDS was the second biggest party in the state BN at one time with 15 state assemblymen and nine MPs.
- - TAKEN FROM FREE MALAYSIA TODAY