KUCHING, Dec 10 (Bernama) — It is imperative the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) re-establish the people’s trust and confidence in the embattled party through strategic changes to face the coming general election, said the prime minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, said the oldest Sarawak BN component party needed to revamp its party machinery by re-thinking winning strategies and taking a re-look of its current image.
“You must realise that if you do not adapt to the wishes of the people, and if you do not change, then you will be changed…in short, change what needs to be changed to make SUPP the choice of the people again,” he said when opening the SUPP’s 22nd triennial delegates conference (TDC) here.
Also present were outgoing SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan and state housing and tourism minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg, who represented Chief Minister and state BN chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Najib was confident that the state BN, particularly SUPP, could win the trust of the urban voters if it worked hard at it and put the interest of the party above all else.
During the last state election in April this year, he said, SUPP performed disastrously, winning only six out of the 19 seats contested.
“You can make all kinds of speeches and promise all kinds of changes that you are willing to make but at the end of the day, the ultimate test is whether they are good enough to convince the people through the ballot box and vote for you.
“In a parliamentary democracy, there is no place for runners-up, there are only two choices…either you form the government or be part of the opposition.
“That is the harsh reality,” Najib told the 906 delegates and observers.
The last general election was a rude awakening for the BN but he believed the coalition had turned the corner.
Najib said the people now had more confidence in the ruling coalition because they realised it had a clear direction for the country by willing to put forward a fresh and exciting agenda, including its government transformation programmes, which were achievable.
Operating in a parliamentary democracy also meant that such changes were based on the wishes of the people, which was why the country could avoid the tumultuous events that were taking place in North Africa and the Middle East, noted the prime minister.
Najib, who hinted the general election was near, hoped SUPP would be ready when the time came.
“SUPP is an old party that must be re-energised…You (SUPP) have done so much, gone through a lot but it is far from over because it has many more years to come,” he said of the 51-year-old party that won six out of the seven parliamentary seats contested in the 2008 polls.
“I am looking forward to it because once it is over, we have planned many things for Sarawak as I want the state to be fully developed,” he said, adding that he would work closely with the chief minister.
He gave the assurance that Sarawak under the BN would be thriving as a state and the people would have a better life.
Source : Bernama