Will resignation of top leaders be enough to revive SUPP?

Posted on May 24, 2011


Has anyone ever wondered why it is that when the opposition in Sarawak lose in elections, we hardly see any of the losing candidates announce they’ll resign from all party posts and quit politics forever?

I guess it’s partly because they’ve never been held accountable for anything before, and that includes their election promises (which I’d like to remind you is to bring so-called CHANGE to Sarawak).

Actually, what we do hear most of the time from losing candidates from the opposition is how the the other guy cheated and how unfair the whole thing was, and bla, bla, bla…

In fact, even when the opposition candidates WIN in Sarawak, they say that  their victory would have been even bigger had the loser not cheated, and had the whole thing not been unfair and bla, bla, bla…

And let me also remind you that when an opposition candidate DID say he was going to resign if he lost…he did a U-turn right after he lost! (Please refer to candidate under the Bunga Raya symbol, who was formerly a candidate of Malaya-based PKR, but was a key actor in a major sandiwara that “forced” him to contest as an independent)

However, since the opposition won more seats than they’ve ever won in their entire history in Sarawak, maybe we should take another look (and a closer look) at how long we actually want them to stay in politics, especially after losing in an election.

Since they are a notch above the BN members of State and Federal parliaments (or so they keep reminding us) maybe they should leave the scene forever, after they lose in an election.

And since they are also so eager to get rid of people who stay in office for TOO LONG, maybe THEY are the ones who should lead by example and stay for just two terms.

Or then again, maybe I’m giving them way too much credit here.

What I really wanted to talk about was SUPP…specifically on what a senior leader (who retained his seat, by the way) said recently.

He suggested that ALL the top leaders in the party resign from their respective posts and take responsibility for SUPP’s spectacular defeat in the polls!

All I have to say about that is…WOW!

And to top it all off, the president of SUPP (who did not retain his seat, by the way) fully agrees with this suggestion.

I think this shows progress for the party.

It’s a signal that the party is ready to move forward and embrace transformation.

With the younger leaders moving into the top leadership position, hopefully fresh and creative ideas and not to mention the all-important sense of hope will permeate throughout the party.

The hard part for these two though is to get the other top leaders in the party to agree with them.

These two come from the Sibu and Miri camps of SUPP…which means that soon we should be hearing from some folks from the camps from Kuching and Sarikei, espousing their views about how ridiculous this idea is.

These are also the ones that are still jostling for position to be at the controls of the oldest political ship in Sarawak.

And even though everyone else can see that the ship is sinking, not everyone wants to plug the holes to prevent more water from coming in to doom the ship.

Sadly, not everyone in SUPP can see the forest for the trees.

How The Borneo Post reported the party leader’s suggestion:

Be responsible for defeat — Soon Koh

Posted on May 23, 2011, Monday

SUPP deputy secretary-general calls on top SUPP leaders to resign

KUCHING: Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh finally broke his silence on the aftermath of Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) dismal performance in the last two state elections by calling on all top leaders of the party, including himself, to resign from their positions to take responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I’m not one of the ‘four kings’ in SUPP, but was fortunate to have survived and get re-elected.

“Nevertheless, I must also shoulder the responsibility for the party’s loss by giving up my post in the party. Likewise, other top leaders must also relinquish all their posts in the party,” he said.

The Bawang Assan assemblyman is one of the only two Chinese candidates from Barisan Nasional (BN) who won in the just concluded 10th state election. The other assemblyman is Datuk Lee Kim Shin of Senadin.

Wong has been reappointed as a full minister taking the portfolios of Environment and Public Health Minister and Second Minister of Finance.

He said that now that he is in the state cabinet he would endeavour his best to discharge his duties and responsibilities as entrusted by the voters, as well as faithfully work for the party.

“My other important task in the next five years is to work closely with the party to nurture and guide the new leadership of the party,” said Wong, who is SUPP deputy secretary general.

He is also determined and confident that he would fight for the interest of the Chinese community and the people of Sarawak in an effort to change the image of the party to regain the confidence of the people in SUPP.

“After five years, I would not seek for re-election. I shall leave Sarawak politics for good.”

He is also prepared to be subjected to evaluation by the people on his works and that if he did not live up to their expectation, he would resign immediately.

On the Chinese representation in the state cabinet, he said the Chinese must not be left out  of the government of the day so that they could have a say and voice out their opinions on matters affecting their community.

“This is actually a very simple truth. However, the truth has been twisted. We all know that there is no one single party that can rule in Sarawak political arena. This includes parties like SUPP and Democratic Action Party (DAP) which are both Chinese dominated.”

He cautioned if the Chinese were not represented in the government there would be no one voicing out their needs and rights.

“Do the Chinese really want to be a race outside the government?”

He cited a scenario that if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) were to form government, DAP like SUPP being Chinese dominated would be representing the Chinese.

“Even if it is PR forming the government, we still need Chinese representation.”

Looking at the component parties of PR, the controlling power came from the central committee in the peninsula.

He warned that Sarawak would be in danger should PR form the government.

“Sarawak would share the same fate as Sabah. We won’t be able to even safeguard Sarawak, what more to say protecting Chinese rights?”

He said he did not mean to threaten or being over cautious about the situation, but was sharing the same sentiments of many leaders  in Sarawak.

He said that over half of the Chinese had voted against SUPP in the recent state election which reflected that SUPP had not played their role well.

He said there was a need for change and reform at the central leadership with the injection of new and younger leaders to breathe new life and bring the party forward.

He praised the boldness of the party president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan and secretary general Datuk Sim Kheng Hui in resigning to take responsibility for the losses in the election which saw SUPP being relegated from number two in State BN to the smallest component.

The results of the last two state elections are concrete evidences that the present leadership could do no more to revive the party, he added.

“The leaders should resign and not to take up any key positions in the party to show their responsibility and personal dignity.”

He urged the defeated leaders not to bother about positions in the party, but to support and help the new leaders to revive the party.

“There is only one way – to face reality, enter into self-reflection, reform, go back to the grassroots – to party’s unity and regain people’s confidence. There is no other way.”