Hornbill Unleashed

October 17, 2011

‘Surprised’ Wong ready to take-on Chin

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:12 PM
Tags: , , , ,

FMT Staff

Sibu warlord Wong Soon Koh to fence with Miri veteran Peter Chin in SUPP’s presidential race.

A ‘surprised’ Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) deputy-secretary general Wong Soon Koh (photo) is prepared wrestle it out with colleague Peter Chin for the party’s top job.

Wong said he never expected Chin to join the fray because he had ‘never’ indicated an interest.

“It’s a big surprise when I heard about it…Chin never indicated his intentions.

“There were many occasions when he whispered to me that he would not contest,” said Wong.

Chin’s bid for the presidency will clearly split the party.

Whilst Wong has the blessing of outgoing president George Chan and Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, Chin has the support of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and party’s grassroots members.

At a gathering of branch chairmen here yesterday, Chin, who is a federal minister, received overwhelming support to contest SUPP’s top job.

Some 33 of the 43 chairmen present at the meeting endorsed Chin for president and party treasurer-general David Teng for deputy president .

Chin, who had until now refrained from voicing his intentions, attributed his decision to the groundswell of support.

“I thank them (branch leaders) for their enthusiasm for me to lead the party.

“I have been the party’s organizing 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,” Chin said.

‘It’s a democratic system’

Speaking to reporters here Wong said: ” I welcome Chin’s challenge … This is a democratic system and any member can express his or her intention to contest.

“It is a good thing that Chin (photo) wants to contest. It is a healthy competition to allow our delegates to have a choice.”

Meanwhile Senadin assemblyman Lee Kim Shim who is gunning for the post of secretary-general, also expressed his shock.

“Chin never expressed interest in contesting. He always said he wanted to retire,” said Lee who is Wong’s running mate.

Lee added that,  like Chin, it was the members who had wanted Wong and him to contest.

“We received very strong support from the members. It is not that we wanted the posts .

“It was the party members who suggested Wong be the president and me as the secretary-general.  It is a proposal from the members,” said Lee.

Dayak reps backing Wong

Wong is currently a senior minister in the Sarawak state Cabinet while Lee holds two assistant minister portfolios – in sports and communication respectively.

Wong and Lee were the only two Chinese assemblymen who retained their seat in the April 16 state election where SUPP lost 13 of its 19 seats.

The other four seats were won by their Dayak assemblymen Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Ranum Mina (Opar), Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) and Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang).

All four have thrown their support behind Wong and Lee.

Whether this will be enough to propel Wong to the top seat is left to be seen.

What is known however is that SUPP’s grassroots want an absolute ‘change’ and that includes wiping Chan’s influence completely off the party slate.


  1. 2 stooges fighting over a dead party … like snatching a dead body.

    Comment by Tigeryk — October 18, 2011 @ 4:09 AM | Reply

  2. in sarawak, pekmoh is king, naji is no body. in sarawak, pekmo is the one that sign on any paper with monetary value. naji can’t give you anything except a stomach ache, from laughing too hard… so that’ll be the outcome.

    Comment by IamStupid — October 17, 2011 @ 10:04 PM | Reply

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