SUPP “Hurry or Face Annihiliation..??”

A former news editor of  an English daily based in Sabah told me to check up this bernama report(below). He said SUPP is facing its greatest enemy and many have said,”the veteran,oldish,outdated and defeated politicians does not want to let go” Everyone it seems just “Hantam SUPP” “{Hit out at SUPP}“as they still think they are so high and mighty.”

If they don’t solve their internal feuds and go for renewal of new blood and see to it that changes are put in place thats the end game for the once mighty SUPP party. One good idea to pursue would be the market talks of “SUPP/SPDP” merging to a new identity which might just be the right tonic to get the people from all races and backgrounds coming back to support this entity.


Response to the news that the Sarawak United People’s Party is to undergo a “complete overhaul” has been lukewarm despite assurances from SUPP president Dr George Chan Hong Nam that the change would be drastic, with new leaders at all levels.

Political analysts are not convinced that the revival plan will work as long as core problems and long-standing issues within the predominantly Chinese-based party are not addressed.

“The revival plan for SUPP will not work if it is designed by the old guard. When the old guard refused to pass the baton, many potential young leaders left the party,” said political analyst James Chin from the Kuching branch of Monash University.

He said that a clear succession plan was too long overdue in SUPP, causing able young leaders to see no prospect for them to be active in the party and to contribute new ideas.

sibu by election 070510 wong soon koh“Also, SUPP is unlikely to be revived until it has resolved the problem of factionalism in the party. For example, the move to stop Dr Wong Soon Koh (left) from taking up a ministerial position in the state cabinet despite retaining his seat is seen as an attempt to stop the Foochows from leading the party,” Chin said.

Another political analyst, Ahi Sarok of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, shares the view about the old guard.

He said the biggest problem facing the party was in not having young and new leaders of calibre because the old guard had refused to bow out.

“Yes, the old guard must go, but what I see is that they don’t have any young leaders. That’s the problem. If you don’t have any young leaders, how to revive the party?” he said.

They may still be some young leaders in SUPP but they have been defeated in the election, including Alan Sim who failed to wrest the Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituency from the DAP in the 2008 general election.

‘Chan in no position to propose successor’

“To revive the party, you should give space and chances to the young leaders. You should have pools of potential leaders as other political parties do with their Putera and Puteri wings and the like,” Ahi said.

Chan (top photo, left), when announcing his resignation which was subsequently postponed, has proposed that SUPP’s defeated candidate for Pending, Dr Sim Kui Hian (top photo, right), be nominated to take over the party leadership.

However, some party members, including veterans, demanded that Chan and the current central working committee members resign immediately and let the delegates openly nominate candidates and choose the new leadership.

SUPP Bintulu Youth founding member Nicholas Tang said the party should call for an extraordinary general meeting to decide on the new party leadership instead of waiting until the triennial general meeting scheduled for the year-end.

“Chan is in no position to propose or nominate his successor,” he said, commenting on reports that Chan preferred cardiologist Dr Sim because he had “no political baggage” and was of an immaculate pedigree.

sarawak nomination day 090506 violet yongDr Sim, the son of a former deputy chief minister, quit his job as head of the Sarawak General Hospital cardiac unit to contest in Pending but lost to DAP’s Violet Yong (right) with a margin of 7,595 votes.

“The party must undergo a total revamp and the choice of president and the CWC members must be decided by the delegates themselves. It is not the prerogative of Chan to pick any candidate to lead the party,” said Tang.

Former president Wong Soon Kai, who could not foresee SUPP solving some of its major problems in such a short time, has called for a “collective leadership”.

Between now and the next general election, SUPP must be made relevant to Sarawakians and their political aspirations, he said.

Without a new president and so many issues to resolve, the party must be managed by a collective leadership, at least for the time being, Wong said.