SPDP to give priority to BN’s solidarity, unity

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KUCHING: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) will ensure Barisan Nasional’s (BN) solidarity and unity come first when it comes to getting ready for the 13th general election expected soon.

Its president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said personal and group interests within the party should be set aside for the overall good of BN.

He was responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s reminder for BN members to stay away from factionalism politics as this could affect the coalition’s performance at the next general election.

“This is not the first time the PM reminded us about the importance of maintaining overall unity of BN. Anyway, the reminder is well received. In any case, group interests should always be set aside for the overall good of BN,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Mawan, who is also Social Development and Urbanisation Minister, nonetheless admitted there were some groups of politicians within BN who did not differentiate and detach personal interests from that of the overall interest of BN.

He said such politicians should set aside their interests and be able to control and conquer their emotions so that there would be unity and solidarity in BN.

If these could not be handled, he said he feared they could affect BN’s performance.

Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing also agreed that factionalism would only weaken a party.

“Factionalism within an organisation is not healthy because it weakens that organisation and makes it vulnerable to attack by its opponents.

“PRU 13 (the 13th general election) is near, and therefore BN must unite as one solid front. No cliques, no hidden agendas or BN stands to lose its power to rule,” said the Land Development Minister.

Najib, who is also BN chief, was quoted in yesterday’s news reports as making the reminder during the closing of Umno Pekan delegates meeting on Sunday.

The reports quoted Najib as advising party members to avoid putting each other down, urging them instead to place party’s interest ahead of personal interests.

He even attributed the problem to his near loss in the 1999 general election when he won by a slim majority of 241 votes.

“There will be conflicting interests among groups who are not aligned to the candidate picked for the election. The different factions will scheme and plot a plan to topple the candidate,” said Najib.