Hornbill Unleashed

October 17, 2011

Peter Chin goes for top SUPP post

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:12 PM
Tags: , , ,

Joseph Tawie

Federal minister Peter Chin launches his bid for the party’s presidency after receiving a groundswell of support.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Peter Chin looks set to assume the presidency of the beleagured party with 33 of its 43 branches endorsing his bid for the top post.

Chin, who is the party’s organising secretary, received the support of some 306 branch leaders who shouted the word “sa’ati”, which is the party’s battle-cry, when they met at the party’s headquarters yesterday.

Chin’s bid for the presidency is backed by party treasurer and former Repok assemblyman David Teng, who is vying for the deputy president’s seat, and other SUPP leaders.

Absent from yesterday’s gathering were deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh, assistant secretary-general Lee Kim Shin and SUPP’s Dayak elected representatives – Richard Riot (Serian MP), Dr Jerip Susil, (Bengoh assemblyman), Ranum Anak Mina (Opar), Francis Harden (Simanggang) and Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili) – and their supporters.
Wong, who is Second Finance Minister and Local Government and Community Development Minister, has announced his candidacy for the top post.

He has the blessings of outgoing president Dr George Chan.

After the yesterday’s meeting, the branch leaders and members issued a statement stating their “unanimous” support for Chin.

“We are unanimous that Peter Chin is the most suitable candidate to be the next president to lead the party forward and effectively bring about changes…

“We sincerely hope that (Chin’s candidacy) will receive the unanimous endorsement of the delegates at the coming triennial delegates conference so as to win back the confidence of the people to enable SUPP to play its political role effectively….” it said.

‘Appropriate to lead the party’
Chin, who is also Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, told reporters that he “finally” made up his mind to go for the top post after hearing the views of the members.

“I thank them for their enthusiasm for me to lead the party in the next two to three years and whether there will be an election or not, we will leave it to the events that will come.

“I have been the party’s organising secretary for many years, and they feel that it is appropriate for me to take the responsibility to lead the party rather than shy away from it.

“If I retire and leave their expectation of me just hanging like that, it is not correct,” he said.

Chin said that he has informed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak of his intention to contest for the top post. He has also discussed it with the Chan.

However, he refused to disclose whether Chan supported his candidacy.

Historical battle

Some 600 delegates, who will attend the TDC in December, will elect 135 central committee (CC) members who in turn will elect the office-bearers for the CC committee.

In the event of an election for the top posts, it will be the most fractious election the party has ever seen in its 51-year-old history.
This is because the current leaders are blaming one another for the party’s dismal performance in the last two state elections in 2006 and 2011.

In the 2011 state polls, SUPP managed to retain only six seats including four Dayak seats out of the 19 it contested.

Apparently the Chinese voters have rejected the party as it could not do much to help the community in terms of business opportunities, education, and so on.

Party members believe that Chin, a lawyer by profession, should be able to lift up the spirit of the members and gain the confidence of the Chinese community.

While Chin’s supporters claim that he has the moral support of Najib, Wong, on the other hand, is said to have the blessing of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud as well as the support of Chan.

They said the fact that Wong was named one of the senior ministers holding the posts of Second Finance Minister and Local Government and Community Development Minister is an indication of Taib’s support for him.

The problems in the party began after the 2004 parliamentary election when Law Heing Ding won the Sarikei parliamentary seat.

Initially, Law, who was SUPP deputy president, refused to contest the seat, but later agreed on condition that he was to be renominated to the federal Cabinet.

Chan agreed, but changed his mind after Law won the seat. Instead, Chan named Chin to the federal Cabinet.

The change of mind had angered Law and his supporters.

Ever since then, some party leaders have been trying to undermine Chan’s leadership, and have been calling on him to step down.

But Chan with the support of certain leaders insisted on holding on to the post.

The bickering was further compounded with the creation of branches allegedly to support Chan.

One such branch was Dudong which was formed by Dr Soon Choon Teck, but strongly opposed by Wong, who is chairman of the Sibu branch.

Although the Dudong branch failed to materialise, its failure and the continued bickering in the party had, however, caused the party to lose Sibu in the parliamentary by-election in May last year.

It also lost 13 Chinese majority seats in the April 16 state election this year.

Among the losers in the election were Chan, and a number of assistant ministers. Only Wong  and Lee survived.

For those failures, Chan was forced to step down


  1. Great news about Gaddafi’s death ! Well, Tiab is just a little greedy dog when compare to Gaddafi.

    Comment by CK — October 21, 2011 @ 12:10 AM | Reply

  2. Another useless Taib-follower & boot-licker. Enough of these people. Mr Chin, please have the decency to retreat. For decades, Barisan component parties pulled wool on the rakyat’s eyes on the massive corruption & plundering. God knows how many billions the people lost through criminals they had elected to serve! The whole world is boiling over this great tragedy.
    Enough is enough this is earth-shaking shame, this is outrageous. Read this:
    Alan Newman, New Zealand.

    Comment by Alan Newman, NZ — October 20, 2011 @ 9:13 PM | Reply

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