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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, July 11: After the sudden resignation of Datuk Dr Jerip Susil as Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) deputy president, the question now arises as to which Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component party he will apply to join.
With Mambong, formerly known as Bengoh, traditionally allocated to GPS component party Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) to contest, is Dr Jerip willing to return to his old party which he left to form PSB? Or will he try to join Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), which has a strong footing in the area?
When contacted, PBB Mambong caretaker chairman Datuk Detta Samen said there is a procedure to follow for new members to join the party.
“If he (Dr Jerip) applies to join PBB, and since he is a VIP figure, my ‘cawangan’ (branch) cannot say yes or no. We have to bring it to the headquarters. And it’s up to the headquarters to advise me. Even though it’s my prerogative, he is not going to be an ordinary party member. So, we have to bring it up to the headquarters,” Detta told DayakDaily today.
According to Detta, PBB is the kingmaker in Mambong constituency. Thus, it will not be an easy seat for any other component party to win in the next state election if PBB does not help because in Mambong, among all the component parties, it is the biggest with 48 ‘ranting’ (sub-branches) and between 3,000-4,000 members.
“Say for instance, we want to organise an event, we will just activate any ‘ranting’ and it can be done. So that’s what I meant as strength. I’m not trying to belittle other component parties but PBB is the strongest component GPS party as far as Mambong is concerned,” he said.
Detta added that in the past state election where Dr Jerip stood as a Barisan Nasional (BN) direct candidate, the BN machinery had relied heavily on PBB.
“In the last parliamentary election (for Puncak Borneo), Barisan Nasional lost badly in Mambong for the simple reason that PBB Mambong was bypassed,” he said.
Mambong is one of the three state constituencies which make up Puncak Borneo. The other two are Serembu and Tarat.
Detta reiterated that since Dr Jerip had resigned from PSB and pledged his support for GPS, it would be very interesting to observe as to which component party he would apply to join.
“Since Dr Jerip has resigned from PSB and supports GPS, will he stop there? He will definitely want to be a (state election) candidate but which component party he will join, we do not know. It’s either PBB or SUPP. But will SUPP accept him back? For that I’m sure SUPP will accept him. And likewise, PBB will accept him, if the top leadership says so. We are a very disciplined component party and maybe we accept him,” added Detta.
Detta assumed the post of PBB Mambong caretaker chairman more than a year ago, after its chairman, the late Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit, who passed away at 11.30pm on Monday, could no longer perform his duties due to a long illness.
When contacted, PBB secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said anyone who wished to join PBB could either apply through the branch or apply online, in which case, the application would still be referred to the branch from where the applicant is from. From there, it would then be up to the party’s supreme council to decide. — DayakDaily