KUCHING: Tan Sri William Mawan, the incumbent Saratok MP, has never expressed his desire to leave Barisan Nasional, says senior Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leader Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“He knows the ground sentiments in Saratok well and, as rightly said by him, whoever aspires to lobby for that seat must have the ground support.
“It would be pointless to contest the seat just because the seat is given based on the ‘quota’ as agreed under the BN coalition, but only to lose the seat to the opposition,” said Abdul Karim through a press statement yesterday.
Abdul Karim, who is Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, made the remarks in response to an earlier news report which quoted Mawan as saying that “…a strong support base is the key factor in ensuring the winnability of the chosen BN candidate”.
Mawan has also warned any aspiring candidate and party not to rock the BN boat and play up their right of claim to the detriment of unity and stability in Saratok constituency.
Abdul Karim concurred with Mawan, saying, “Barisan Nasional and PBB will choose a candidate who is winnable, people-centric and able to address the needs of all communities in the constituency and not just a selected group.
“As it is a matter that concerns the grassroots support and could defy textbook rules, all other factors must relate to the people’s choice, and that strong grassroots support and acceptance must prevail in the consultation and decision-making process.”
On another note, Abdul Karim said the sentiments of PBB grassroots leaders and members in Saratok must also be considered when choosing a candidate to stand under the BN ticket.
The parliamentary constituency of Saratok has three state seats, namely Krian held by PKR’s Ali Biju, Kabong (BN-PBB Mohd Chee Kadir)and Kalaka (BN-PBB Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz).
Abdul Karim acknowledged that PKR has been making extensive moves in Saratok ahead of the election and warned that a wrong choice of candidate might prove fatal, especially if the local Malays decide not to endorse the candidate.