Hornbill Unleashed

July 21, 2014

Mawan and Wong explain formation of UPP

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

Disagreement between supporters of former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president William Mawan Ikom and supporters of former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh as to who should lead the Dayak-based party Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) is said to have led Wong and three other elected representatives aligned to him to form their own party – United People’s Party (UPP).

However, Mawan, who is Social Development Minister, and Wong, who is Local Government and Community Development Minister, strongly denied this at a joint press conference yesterday.

Mawan, Wong and eight other state assemblypersons resigned from their respective parties on May 15, 2014 due to internal problems in SPDP and SUPP and joined the newly-formed Teras.

But before the Teras special meeting to elect its new leadership, fixed for on July 26 could take place, there were major disagreements over the leadership and the line-up, said sources from the party.

Mawan’s supporters wanted him to lead Teras and did not want Wong as he (Wong) was the only Chinese elected representative in the party. Wong’s supporters, on the other hand, wanted him, being a senior minister, to play a leading role.

Mawan’s supporters said that they had learnt lessons from what happened to four-Dayak based parties (Sarawak National Party or SNAP, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak or PBDS, Parti Rakyat Sarawak or PRS and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party or SPDP) which were led by Chinese ‘towkays’ and politicians.

SNAP, which was led by James Wong, faced a number of crises during his tenure of office, resulting in its deregistration. Similarly for PBDS, it was also deregistered because of a crisis brought about by Sng Chee Hua’s challenge to the Dayak leadership.

Likewise, PRS was also almost deregistered because of Sng Chee Hua and his son Larry Sng, and for SPDP, it was  split because  some of the Dayak elected representatives did not see eye-to-eye with Tiong King Sing, who was the pary’s deputy president.

Realising that he was in a rather awkward situation in Teras, Wong held back several thousand applications from former SUPP members in Sibu, Lundu, Bengoh, Engkilili and elsewhere who wanted to join Teras.

Meanwhile, his supporters also knew that Wong (left) was not wanted in Teras. They warned him that it would be a political suicide for him to join Teras as his political enemies would not only exploit the issue, but would accuse him of acting for his own political survival at the expense of betraying the Chinese interests.

Thousands of Chinese ridiculed him.

So desperate were Wong and his elected representatives that they met leaders of the People’s Alliance for Justice of Peace (Peace Party) in May this year with the idea of ‘buying’ over the party. The negotiations did not go through as the price was extremely high.

UPP application approved in record time

Then the idea of the United People’s Party came in.

According to Wong, UPP application was submitted soon after and on July 14, 2014 it was approved in record time.

At a media conference yesterday, both Mawan and Wong took great pains to explain why they had to part and use a different platform although the objective remained the same – that of strengthening BN.

“UPP is to look after the Chinese affairs and to take up the challenge from SUPP in the coming state election, while Teras will look after the bumiputera interests and to accept the challenge posed by SPDP. We believe this is the best way to tackle the challenges faced by the two parties,” Mawan said.

“Initially we thought of having two deputy presidents in Teras – one deputy to look after the Chinese interests and the other the bumiputera interests.”

He said he and Wong discussed how to move forward and to make become strong in the face of challenges and hurdles posed by the ‘merger of minds’.

This was in light of the unity concept created by SPDP, SUPP and PRS to ensure that Teras would not be admitted to the BN coalition.

Mawan said: “Eventually we have to design a strategy on how to fight those challenges or overcome those hurdles, much as we do not like that we are seen parting company, to go on different commands and different fronts.

“This is how Wong came up with a new party – UPP.

“We are having the same objective, the same commitment, and we work as a team with UPP to take charge of the Chinese interests, and Teras the bumiputera interests.

“We are in partnership, one roof with two structures or one front with two groups. I call it a convergence of thoughts unlike the ‘merger of minds’.”

Speaking on behalf of UPP, Wong said that they would work as a group on a different platform.

“We will work together with Teras in close partnership complementing each other. UPP being multi-racial, we will try to revive the spirit of SUPP especially with particular emphasis on the Chinese community and youth who aspire to be leaders of tomorrow,” Wong said.

Seat allocation left for BN leadership to decide

As for the seat allocation, Wong said that they would leave it to the BN leadership to decide.

On the question of being admitted to the BN coalition, both Wong and Mawan said that their chances are better as they are still with BN.

Said one political observer: “The formation of UPP to solve the leadership in Teras is one thing, but the bigger and more important questions are: can Teras with five elected representatives and UPP four elected representatives be admitted into the family of BN?

“Will the Dayaks back Teras and the Chinese community support UPP, considering there are other Dayak-based and Chinese-based parties? Is the formation of Teras and UPP going to split the Dayak and the Chinese communities?

“Their entry to the BN coalition will be strongly opposed by SPDP, SUPP and PRS, and even MCA and Gerakan have expressed their intention to oppose the two parties.

“If the two new parties fail to be admitted, it may signal the downfall of the 10 state assemblypersons,” he said.

The political observer said: “Even Mawan’s position in Pakan and Wong’s in Bawang Assan are said to be precarious as their majorities in the last election were slightly more than 1,000 votes.

“In Bawang Assan, the opposition DAP stands to benefit in the event of a three-cornered fight (between DAP, UPP and SUPP), he said.

Meanwhile, Mas Gading MP Anthony Nogeh, who has been appointed as SPDP election director, confirmed that his party had identified three candidates in Pakan as well as candidates in seven other seats namely Tasik Biru, Krian, Meluan, Marudi, Bekenu, Batu Danau and Ba’Kelalan.

“We have to identify our candidates now so that they can go around and make known of their intentions. This is important for the voters to judge each one of them. Once we get the feedback from the voters, we will then recommend them to the BN leadership,” said Anthony.

“We have to make sure our candidates are winnable in view of the fact that SPDP is fighting very formidable enemies who were once our own members and leaders,” he said.

“SPDP is fighting for its survival, and if we lose, we will be pushed out of BN. But if we win Teras will never be admitted to BN,” he added.



  1. If according to Nogeh that’s how things are going to be: win then SPDP can remain in BN, loss for Teras then permanently out it will remain out of BN, then the contest is not for the people’s interest and welfare but to remain in BN. YBs’ comfort is the paramount concern, so it seems. What a waste of people’s votes?

    Comment by Anek — July 21, 2014 @ 4:57 PM | Reply

  2. If Teras and UPP failed to be accepted into BN State thats the end for Mawan and Wong. Tiong and Chin know this. And PBB knows also that if they insist on accepting these two, they may have open war with SPDP and SUPP. In the end i think in the next coming state election if there is no solution there will be a free for all for these coalition partners to use their own symbol to contest in the next state election. Good opportunity for PR? Not necessary. There are rumblings between PKR and DAP on the issue of Hudud in the state. Maybe this coming state election will see the open warfare among themselves in both BN and PR!

    Comment by Awang Semaun — July 21, 2014 @ 4:32 PM | Reply

  3. How do we expect any dayaks to support TERAS when the three elected dayak stooges chosed to join UPP “look after the Chinese affairs” instead?

    Comment by Bugau — July 21, 2014 @ 1:25 PM | Reply

  4. Explain convergence of thoughts and how is it different from merger of minds of opportunists and self serving individuals who think they are politically indispensible?

    We already know from the begining that these two opportunists will not agree as to who will lead the already doomed teras and upp will soon follow suit.

    Mawan is now under the same blanket as his sworn enemies, the spdp five and these five can get back at him by opposing his presidential ambition to lead teras by supporting their leader nansian. The trap has probably been set to lure mawan to teach him a hard lesson?

    UPP will only survive as long as the money bag wong is there. The party will wither with the money bag.

    Comment by Brian — July 21, 2014 @ 11:45 AM | Reply

    • i do agree 100% there

      Comment by think tank — July 21, 2014 @ 10:38 PM | Reply

      • Last time Tiong is the money bag now Wong will be the money bag. Later Baru is the money bag – oh oh wrong – not Baru jeffry kitingan – party Star.

        Comment by Ali bin Abu — July 25, 2014 @ 2:07 AM | Reply

        • Which Tiong? Fat boy Tiong King Sing? Another Tiong will be the new money bag: old man Tiong Thai King, who jumped ship from SUPP together with Wong. He’s backed by his billionaire brother and Taik crony Tiong Hew King’s Rimbunan Hijau family conglomerate. Bags and bags of dirty ringgit there from their plunders of Sarawak’s wealth. That’s why UPP is the Untung Pertama Party. Wong doesn’t need to contribute a cent. Fat boy Tiong is chummy with the Tiong brothers too: they are all leaders in the same Foochow Tiong clan association.

          Comment by Hornbill Leashed and Gagged — July 28, 2014 @ 7:00 AM | Reply

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