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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Oct 17: There is speculation that Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, the current secretary-general of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) will be elected as the party’s new deputy president at the upcoming Extraordinary Delegates’ Conference (EDC) to be held this Saturday to replace Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun who was expelled from the party just before the last 14th General Election.
Party insiders said only Salang’s name was mentioned and there would be no contest for the second top post in the party.
When contacted, Salang said the post was not important but the party is.
“I’m a party man. So if I’m elected to the post, it will be an honour to serve the party. But I can’t comment on it (the post) as the delegates have the final say,” Salang told DayakDaily today.
The former Julau MP pointed out that the party could also wait until next year when the party has its Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) to fill up the vacancies in the party.
“In my opinion, the election of office bearers is best to be done during the TDC. However, let the delegates decide on this issue this Saturday,” he said.
For the coming EDC, five delegates from each of the party’s 38 branches have been invited.
“It’s the same list that we used in the last TDC which was held in 2016,” Salang said.
He also explained that the EDC was organised to streamline party matters as it was not a party election year.
“It’s going to be like house clearing where we can have deliberations on party matters without the pressure of election,” he stressed.
In the last TDC, Salang was defeated by Entulu for the second top post. Since then, his (Entulu’s) relationship with party president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has turned sour until his dismissal from the party last April.
Entulu was not nominated to defend his Selangau parliamentary seat, and was subsequently expelled from PRS. He joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) after GE14.
Also expelled from the party were four other supreme council members, namely former Lubok Antu MP William Nyallau, Nyempah Sabot, Adriana Chumang and Edward Kurik for “disobeying the party’s decisions, disrupting party solidarity and attempting to destroy the good name of the party”.
Masing announced their expulsion after chairing an emergency supreme council meeting at the party’s headquarters here on April 22.
Meanwhile, when contacted, five vice-presidents of the party namely Datuk John Sikie Tayai, Datuk Liwan Lagang, Datuk Mong Dagang, Datuk Masir Kujat and Majang Renggi declined to comment on the possible election for the deputy president’s post. — DayakDaily