Thursday, October 6

Mawan does not discount surprises in coming polls

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KUCHING: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Tan Sri William Mawan does not rule out last minute ‘surprises’ that will ensure Barisan Nasional’s victory in Baram and Saratok — two of the four SPDP seats — for the upcoming general election.

Speaking to reporters after receiving courtesy call from the committee members of Commonwealth Journalist Association (CJA) at his office here yesterday, the Minister of Social Development, however, said only Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak knew best which areas required surprises for BN to win in the coming election.

He meant surprises as last minute change of candidates other than the incumbents.

“There may be surprises. We will never know. I do not know and only the prime minister knows. I don’t think we can rule it out.”

Mawan believed whatever decisions the prime minister take would be based on the spirit of BN and he would not stray away from that.

“We still need maximum cooperation from among the BN component parties and we don’t want to contradict each other. The end result is getting maximum cooperation and support from the people,” he said.

Asked if the ‘surprises’ would be very winnable, Mawan said: “We are talking in terms of how to win the seats and as far as SPDP is concerned, and if there is cooperation from everybody, I think it is.

“If not done within the BN principles, then we may find trouble. The whole thing will weaken not only the BN spirit but the cooperation among BN component parties in the future.”

Mawan said he advocated surprises if they were required to ensure victory for the BN.

“Do it as long as we are not shooting among ourselves in the pool.”

Asked again if he was confident of delivering the four parliamentary seats allocated to SPDP — Baram, Bintulu, Saratok and Mas Gading — Mawan said he was more than convinced.

“I have something up my sleeves which I intend to keep to myself for the time being. Of course, when you (journalists) ask (on certain things), I will tell you but there are some things that I am not obliged to tell you.”

He said SPDP had the formulae required to win all the constituencies entrusted to the party.

“We’ll be alright in Bintulu, Mas Gading and Saratok. As for Baram, we have the formula to win the constituency because we have dissected and looked into the issue. With the cooperation from the federal and state governments, whatever we can do to assist from all angles, we should be able to win,” he said.

On the dam issue harped by the opposition to disparage the BN, Mawan said with or without the dam, Baram would have the blueprint for its future development.

He said the opposition would always go out to demonise the BN but the government will have to take care of the welfare of the people.