Entri’s sacking: S’wak BN leaders concerned

By Joseph Tawie, FMT

KUCHING: Sarawak Barisan Nasional leaders have expressed concern over the effects of the sacking of Sylvester Entri, the Marudi assemblyman from SPDP.

The SPDP vice-president and assistant minister of public utilities was sacked last Friday after he was found guilty of leading a group of eight leaders to rebel against the party leadership in January last year.

Among the first to react to the sacking was Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud who said that he would discuss the matter with SPDP leaders.

“Let things cool down first. I will meet the party leaders,” added the state BN chairman, who had earlier described the issue as a “family problem” and not a crisis.

State BN secretary-general Stephen Rundi said Entri was still a member of BN.

“Entri is not partyless. Whatever it is, we all are still BN men. We will solve the problem,” he said.

Commenting on the same issue, PRS president James Masing wanted Entri and the other four elected representatives to remain with BN at all costs to prevent them from joining the opposition.

BN leaders held an emergency meeting on Friday night at the residence of the chief minister after news of the sacking broke.

Entri is no ordinary assemblyman; he was not only hand-picked by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leaders to contest in Marudi in the 1996 state election donning the SPDP shirt but he was now a Muslim after marrying a woman related to Taib.

‘Saddest day of my political career’

In announcing the sacking, SPDP president William Mawan said: “Today is the saddest day of my political career. After due process and consultation with the supreme council, with regret I announce that YB Sylvester Entri is no longer a member of SPDP with immediate effect. But the seat of Marudi which Entri is representing remains with the party.”

Mawan recalled the incident in January last year when Entri staged a walkout, followed by Peter Nansian, senior vice-president and Tasik Biru assemblyman, Dr Tiki Lafe, vice-president and MP for Mas Gading, Rosey Yunus, vice-president and Bekenu assemblywoman, Paulus Gumbang, information chief and Batu Danau assemblyman, supreme council members Peter Gani, George Garai and Cr Eda Egar.

“I have consistently maintained that SPDP’s door was always open for them. Instead, Entri and his group continuously distanced themselves from the party by not attending supreme council meetings and made sustained attacks on me, challenging and ridiculing my leadership through one press statement after another.

“These acts created unnecessary tension and anxiety amongst our party members and can even threaten the existence of our party,” he said.