Mawan says no intention to switch sides

Mawan (second from right) receives a mock cheque for RM50,000 from Kho (right), who has been a registered scout member for 63 years. The donation is part of Kho's continuous support to the scout's movement in the state. At centre is Zainuddin.

KUCHING, August 7: Pakan assemblyman Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said he had no plans to leave Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) or Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), because his loyalty is with the state ruling coalition to fight for Sarawak’s rights.

“I have neither been approached nor involved in any political entity to act as an alternative to the state ruling coalition. When it comes to this sort of thing, I am not that approachable or easy to entice.

“In fact, GPS lawmakers should focus on strengthening the coalition and fight for Sarawak’s rights instead of jumping ship and playing the blame game,” Mawan told reporters, following a rumour that nine GPS lawmakers planned to join Parti Pribumi Sarawak (Pribumi).

It is unsure whether Pribumi exists. Recently, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg remarked he had never heard of such a party. In addition, this outfit is not to be mistaken with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which is led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Last Saturday, various media outlets reported that a Facebook page believed to belong to a Pribumi member claimed that six GPS Members of Parliament were ready to quit their parties in favour of Pribumi.

A party source was also reported as saying three other GPS state lawmakers had expressed intentions to leave the coalition. It was rumoured that of the nine lawmakers, seven are from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and two from Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS).

Mawan (centre) fielding questions from the press. He is flanked by Zainuddin (left) and Kho.

GPS comprised PBB, PRS, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP). They were formerly with the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

“Barisan’s loss in GE14 should serve as a reminder for us to work harder and rectify past mistakes, instead of pointing fingers at each other.

“We need to consolidate ourselves and work together with the federal government. A lot of things cannot be achieved if we are at loggerheads (at state level) with each other,” said Mawan, after a press conference at the Sarawak Scout headquarters in Batu Lintang here.

Mawan, who is formerly Saratok MP, said everyone should learn from mistakes and not to act on personal feelings or instigations.

He added that if the rumours were true, the said GPS lawmakers should work towards winning the people’s trust and confidence, instead of campaigning on a new political platform and accusing others.

“Let’s just take this news as it is. Let us wait and see. In politics, there are times when people become so excited things can be farfetched and they just want to manifest their feelings. But things will settle down.

“They can portray certain images and try to make themselves look better than others for political mileage. But do remember that things cannot be settled by wishful thinking,” he opined.

Earlier, Mawan, who is also Sarawak Scout Council president, received a RM50,000 donation from former Kuching District Scout commissioner Kho Ik Teck and family.

Mawan also presented the new Sarawak Scout Commissioner Captain Zainuddin Hamdan Sirat with his appointment letter. — DayakDaily