Ex-Sarawak minister reveals PBB membership, hopes to contest GE14

Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom holds a press conference to announce the formation of BN-friendly party Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly building in Kuching May 15, 2014. — Picture by Nigel Edgar
Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom holds a press conference to announce the formation of BN-friendly party Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly building in Kuching May 15, 2014. — Picture by Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, March 19 — Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said today he hopes that Barisan Nasional (BN) will nominate him to defend his Saratok seat in GE14, as he is actually a Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) member.

The former Sarawak minister revealed that that he has been a PBB member since 2016 after resigning as president of the pro-Barisan Nasional Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), but only revealed his membership today after his political affiliation was questioned.

Prior to joining Teras, he was president of Progressive Democratic Party, a component of the state BN.

“On my status as a prospective candidate in GE14, the decision lies entirely with the BN and PBB leadership. I respect their decision,” he said in response to speculation that he would not be asked to defend his Saratok seat since he was not a member of any component party of the BN.

Sarawak chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg told reporters yesterday that state BN would not nominate any individual as a direct candidate for GE14, including in Saratok, unlike in the 2016 state election where individuals without any political affiliations stood as direct candidates.

Mawan, who was state minister for social development prior to the 2016 state election, said he is bringing his Pakan seat to PBB with him.

He won the Pakan seat in the 2016 state election as BN’s direct candidate.

On why he kept his PBB membership on the down-low, Mawan said he had in January this year indicated that he would reveal his party membership at an appropriate time.

He said that he had always been a firm supporter of state BN.

“I hope my affirmation and declaration will put to rest, henceforth, all speculation in regard to my status as a member of parliament and state assemblyman (from PBB),” he added.

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