KUCHING: Fresh from a respectable election victory, Sarawak United People’s Party is offering an olive branch to its former heavyweights to return and rejuvenate the party after winning state assembly seats as Barisan Nasional direct candidates.
SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian said today that SUPP which won seven of the 13 seats it contested, would become more formidable as a political party should the five former leaders accept the offer.
“Unity is more important. The olive branch is always on offer. They are always welcome to rejoin SUPP,” he said.
Dr Sim, a cardiologist by profession, led SUPP’s revival by taking Batu Kawah with a 2,085 vote majority, defeating the DAP’s Christina Chew Wang See, who sought re-election, and independent candidate Liu Thian Leong, a former branch leader of the breakaway United People’s Party.
The other SUPP victories were delivered by secretary-general Sebastian Ting in Piasau, vice-presidents Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang) and Lee Kim Shin (Senadin), Dr Huang Tiong Sii (Repok), Ding Kuong Hiing (Meradong), and Lo Khere Chiang (Batu Kitang).
Former SUPP members also elected were Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan), Tiong Thai King (Dudong), Dr Jerip Susil (Mambong), Dr Johnichal Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) and Ranum Mina (Opar).
Wong, an assistant secretary-general of SUPP, resigned in May 2014 with Dr Jerip, Dr Rayong and Ranum to join Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak but also left Teras two months later to form United People’s Party, as a BN-friendly party.
Barisan Nasional chairman Adenan Satem had set a pre-condition before choosing election candidates that those nominated as BN direct candidates could choose or join any component party if elected.
The other component parties in Sarawak are Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Sarawak People’s Democratic Party and Parti Rakyat Sarawak. SUPP, SPDP and PRS had objected to accepting Teras and UPP as BN components.