Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parti Rakyat Sarawak - tearing at the seams?

I wasn’t protagonist of Projek KMS (Ketua Menteri Sarawak): Masing

By Churchill Edward, Tuesday November 18, 2008 The Borneo Post

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Masing yesterday brushed aside talks that he had been harbouring the hope of becoming chief minister since the heyday of the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS).

Yesterday Masing, also Land Development Minister, denied that he was the protagonist in the so-called Projek Ketua Menteri Sarawak (Projek KMS), asserting that it was “someone else” in PBDS who had harboured such thought.

Responding to allegations by rival leader Larry Sng that Projek KMS was Masing’s plan to become the chief minister, Masing said: “I have never dreamt of becoming CM even during PBDS days. Someone else did. Not me. Larry (Sng) of course doesn’t remember.”

He said Sng was probably too young to recall correctly the then political situation involving PBDS.

He said Sng should not go into PBDS history which he knew very little of “because it only shows his ignorance and naivety”.

“During the days when PBDS was in the opposition Larry was still young and in school. He did not know what was going on then. I now suggest to him that he should not be mentioning things (political situations) during the time he was in school. It will simply show his ignorance of the political situation in those days,” said Masing who is the Baleh assemblyman.

Sng is assistant minister in the chief minister’s department and Pelagus assemblyman.

Masing was asked to explain the circumstances surrounding the so-called Projek KMS to clear the air.

“The Projek KMS was an attempt by the Dayak community in 1991 to be the chief minister of Sarawak. PBDS was in the opposition and it was led by (Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leo) Moggie, (Dato Sri Daniel) Tajem and (Dato Sri Edmund) Langgu,” he said.

The Projek KMS claim suddenly cropped up yesterday when Sng was talking to The Borneo Post alleging that some of PRS members aligned to Masing were present at the ‘Friends of PKR’ dinner in Sibu on Saturday night.

“Ask him (Masing) if he still harbours the hope of becoming the chief minister? Since the PBDS days there was this project called Projek Ketua Menteri which James was interested in so that he can become the chief minister,” Sng had said.

Masing also said yesterday that he had received a name list of PRS members associated with Sng, who attended the ‘Friends of PKR’ dinner.

The list which Masing shared was entitled ‘Narna kaban PRS ke enggau makai begulai enggau PKR kena malam 15.11.2008 di Sibu’ (Name of PRS members who attended the Nov 15 PKR dinner in Sibu) and subheaded, ‘Kaban PRS Pelagus (Penyukung kuat Larry Sng - ke betanda celum agi)’ (PRS Pelagus members - Larry Sng’s strong supporters in bold lettering) and ‘Kaban ari Baleh’ (Members from Baleh).

The names listed were:

TR Cr Rabar Nasat,
TR Kendawang Ujan,
TR Lanting, TR Lugum,
TR Along Kik,
Jangi Jemut,
Sengiang Anjan,
TR Melintang Leng,
TR Jengging,
Donald Ding,
Anding Bangai,
Nyambong Rape and
Cikgu Minggu (from PRS Pelagus) and
Deo Kusan (PRS Baleh).

Under the sub-head ‘Kaban ari Baleh’, names like TR Jamit, Johnson Nabau, Ugul and Banggau also appeared.

The names of Ugul and Bangau were followed by initials SPDP which referred to another Barisan Nasional (BN) component Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party. It did not indicate which political party or PRS faction, TR Jamit and Johnson Nabau belonged to.

Masing said he was revealing the names in the hope that Sng would in turn reveal person or persons aligned to him (Masing) who attended the PKR dinner.

“I bet he (Sng) can’t find any. I will be surprised if he can find one,” Masing said.

In response, Sng said even though he had the names of Masing’s men who were present at the PKR dinner, he could not reveal them to the press.

“Kapit is a small town whereby news travels fast. I will submit the names of James’ supporters who attended the dinner direct to the BN leadership. The BN chairman (Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) ought to be informed first,” Sng said.

“It is not proper for him (Taib) to find out (about the list) through the press. Besides I am not in any rush to grill these small potatoes (ordinary members). I have bigger fishes (party leaders) to catch,” he said.

In response to this, Masing said: “I am sure Larry has bigger fishes to grill - like his (faction) deputy president Jimmy Donald, Women chief Josephine Mawat and Youth Chief Leon Donald as well as vice- president Munan Laja.”

If there is anything in the world which both Masing and Sng can agreed upon it is to sack PRS members who went to the PKR dinner. On Sunday, both leaders said they would take action against these disloyal members.

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