A jittery Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) in Sibu has revealed its fears that the 13th general election could very well be the “end” of the Chinese community’s “political future” .
Inferring that a “political future” only exists if the community tangoed with the Barisan Nasional, its former deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh said: “This election will not only be about the end of SUPP but most importantly, the end of the political future of the Sibu people especially the Chinese.”
“This election is not only a life-and-death battle for SUPP, but also for the political future of Sibu.
“If the Chinese are misled by the opposition to surrender their power in the political mainstream, they [Chinese] would be the only people left out in the government.
“I believe that when the election dust has settled, BN would still rule the nation.”
Wong, who is the Second Finance Minister in Taib Mahmud’s Cabinet, said a wipeout of SUPP in the coming election would be a surrender of “all the political strength that the SUPP had gathered for the Chinese in the half century of struggles”.
“The basis of [the BN] political power sharing formula would have been gone and the Chinese would be stripped of their rights and benefits,” he said, alluding to the increasingly “destructive” presence of the DAP in Sibu.
Describing DAP as a “destructive political force”, Wong said that if BN candidates were wiped out in the Sibu and Lanang parliamentary seats in the coming general election, it would “change the face of Sibu”.
“This upheaval is possible because the opposition has been instigating the people to go against the government.
“It has been feeding the people with half truths and misleading them,” said Wong, who is Bawang Asan assemblyman.
‘I will be alone’
SUPP held Sibu for 24 years until May 2010 when it lost the seat to DAP in a by-election following the death of incumbent, Robert Lau.
The shock defeat set the tone for SUPP’s dismal performance in last April’s state election. SUPP lost three Chinese majority state seats – Bukit Assek, Dudong and Pelawan.
What remains with SUPP now are the Lanang parliamentary and the Bawang Assan state seats.
“If the opposition grabs both the parliamentary seats in the coming election, it will leave me struggling alone in the state government,” Wong said.
Wong has recommended wealthy Vincent Lau to be the candidate for Sibu, while Tiong Thai King, the incumbent, has been nominated to defend the Lanang seat in the 13th general election.
But Wong’s bleak picture and plea for the Chinese to return the mandate to BN may not sit well with the Chinese community.
SUPP has long since been seen by the Chinese as a weak party, unable to fight for the common Chinese interests, especially with Taib Mahmud as Chief Minister, who is allegedly involved in abuse of power, corruption and cronyism.
Under Taib many middle-class Chinese have allegedly suffered.
According to a former SUPP leader, DAP’s “you vote SUPP you vote Taib” slogan is an effective way to remind the Chinese of what they have lost over the years.