SARAWAK’S political establishment is abuzz with talk that two more Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) assemblymen have followed their former deputy president Jerip Susil and quit the party.
Sources in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), the ruling state coalition, said a “Dayak assemblyman” had notified by letter to top GPS leaders that he had resigned from PSB but pledged his allegiance to the coalition.
The source said the politician withdrew the letter “a few hours later without explanation”.
The other assemblyman reported to have submitted his resignation is a “Chinese”, and GPS and PSB leaders are keeping mum on the rumours.
Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah last night told reporters that all PSB councillors will be replaced in the latest rounds of appointments and the party had been stripped of its right to nominate its members as councillors.
Susil, who is also the Sarawak Assistant Transport Minister, had pledged loyalty to GPS president and Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg.
The Mambong assemblyman was among three former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Dayak assemblymen who dumped the party in 2011 to follow the then SUPP deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh out after their defeat in party elections.
The other two, Ranum Mina (Opar) and Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili), then formed the United People’s Party (UPP) to accommodate of Wong’s supporters.
UPP last year renamed itself Parti Sarawak Bersatu.
While Susil had not made clear what his new political direction is, SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian today said Susil is welcomed back to the party if he wishes to.
“No conditions are attached. I have always said in the past, we (SUPP) always welcome them (former members) back,” Sim told reporters after witnessing Abang Johari open a Minda and STEM Festival in Kuching.
The chief minister declined to field questions on the new political development in the state, only saying “let’s see what happens”.
PSB had incurred the wrath of three of the four parties that made up the GPS.
The presidents of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) James Masing, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Tiong King Sing and SUPP’s Sim are angry at PSB’s campaign to pinch their members.
While Sim had for years blocked PSB’s application to join the state coalition, Masing and Tiong had last year openly called for disassociation with the party.
Former chief ministers Abdul Taib Mahmud and Adenan Satem had accommodated Wong and his party in the state coalition.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT