Dato Sri Dr James Masing, the PRS president claimed that now is the right time and mood for PRS and SPDP to merge. He however stressed that grassroots members from both parties need to understand for the need to merge and support the merger.
Once PRS and SPDP merged into a single entity, the new party will be the largest Dayak based party in Sarawak Barisan Nasional party components. It will have large voices and supporters. The new party can also lead the Dayak into a stronger unity.
But first, leaders from both parties, need to sit down and formulate when to merge, how to merge and the million dollar question is who will lead the new party. Relinquish one power is very hard to do. That will happen to James Masing and William Mawan. For the merger to be successful, either James Masing or William Mawan give way to one another (which can lead to faction and is very unlikely) or both of them step down and let another figure become the president of the new party. Only then, the new party will be stronger.
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Source: theborneopost.com/?p=36148 (May 29, 2008)
Masing: PRS, SPDP in right mood for merger
By Ting Tieng Hee
It is crucial for leaders of both parties to work together towards objective
KUCHING: Members of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) are all in the ‘right mood’ for a merger, says PRS president Dato Sri Dr James Masing.
He said while it was important for the leaders of both parties to work together towards the merger, it was even more important to get approval of the members on the ground.
“There has been a very fruitful meeting last week between the two (merger) committees, and there is a common understanding among us.
“The question of course is ‘when’, and the mechanism of doing it, but the spirit is there for the need to be together. That’s important,” he told reporters after launching a road safety campaign at the Waterfront here yesterday.
The campaign was held in conjunction with the Gawai Dayak Celebrations to promote greater road safety awareness among road users during the festive season.
Masing, also Minister of Land Development, said approval must be obtained from the supreme councils and general assemblies of both parties for the merger to be realised.
“Dato Sri William Mawan and myself cannot do it alone. It doesn’t work that way. If you merge with just talks, it would be like a marriage that ends up in divorce after a few months,” he said.
He said the two leaders would meet when they had decided to do so, and both sides needed to understand why the need to merge.
“The grassroots must agree to merge. They must understand why we need to get together. Sometimes, they do not understand why we need to be together,” he said.
When asked if he thought there was really a need for the two parties to merge, he replied: “There is a need for rural areas (constituencies) to get together. Rural constituencies mean Dayak constituencies. Otherwise, it is very difficult for us to work out certain issues if we are not together, and if we don’t talk the same language.
“The mood is there for us to get together. This is especially very important now,” he added.
To a question, Masing agreed that the merger was a move towards Dayak unity.
“It is a move in the correct direction. Somebody has to start, isn’t it.”
When asked who would lead the PRS committee for the merger talks since deputy president Datuk Dublin Unting is ill, Masing said: “If we need to meet soon then I have to find somebody else to lead the committee.”
He said Dublin was now in a better shape.
“I haven’t seen him as I have just arrived here.
“From what I gather, he is better now than a few days ago. I hope he will get well soon but in this type of situation, it will take time to recover.”