The formation of a new organisation in Sibu has apparently caused quite a stir within the Chinese community in Sarawak, especially after the local media highlighted the issue today.
The new Chinese federation, Chiang Chuan Association of Sarawak (Federation of Seven Clan Associations) seems to have raised concerns in Sibu because its existence threatens to undermine the relevance of the United Chinese Associations (UCA), which currently houses clans and associations in Sibu.
Viewing the latest develoments on a wider scale, I suspect some would even look at it as a first step towards the formation of a new Chinese-based party in Sarawak.
I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, though.
The Chinese who are not convinced by the promises of the DAP, and who are even less confident of the SUPP, have been looking for another vehicle to be their voice in the Barisan Nasional government.
Maybe the Chinese community in Sibu feel that SUPP has not done enough to provide them with renewed confidence after the party’s dismal performance in the recent State election.
By extension, maybe they feel that the UCA, the Chinese Federation that backed the SUPP in Sibu, has failed to deliver the goods, as well.
Whatever the outcome of this saga, hopefully it will help the Chinese community, especially in Sibu to be more united and allow them to once more have an equal voice in the State government.
How The Borneo Post reported it:
CM: Don’t turn federation into a political party
September 2, 2011, Friday
KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud dismissed speculations that the new Chinese federation, Chiang Chuan Association of Sarawak (Federation of Seven Clan Associations), would be turned into a new political party to fill the void left behind by SUPP after its debacle in the last state election.
“You should not think about politics immediately. You don’t think of trying to be adventurous and far-fetched when you have suffered some kind of weakness,” he advised.
He was speaking to the media after receiving a delegation from the federation led by its advisor and Youth Advisor in the Chief Minister’s Department Larry Sng at the Merdeka Raya open house at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Wednesday.
“Whatever political affiliation among the Chinese will be, let them decide it themselves. I am only trying to see whatever I can do to encourage them to come together to preserve our harmony,” he stressed.
He admitted that the present BN government might not be that perfect as politics, in essence, is the art of possibilities to accommodate the ideals.
“But we have to be practical about the way we want to achieve those ideals.
“To me, it is very sad, just for the sake of politics, if we ever forget the solidarity and nation building that we have been able to achieve since ‘Merdeka’ and before ‘Merdeka’,” he said.
Taib also said the peace and harmony existing in the state now should not be taken for granted as doing so would bring disaster to its people.
He advised the Chinese community to ‘rehash’ their mind so that they would be able to focus on their basic needs.
He pointed this out because the Chinese community now seemed to have lost its focus and direction after the dismal performances of SUPP, a Chinese-based party in the last state election where it lost 13 out of the 15 seats in Chinese majority areas to the opposition.
The Chief Minister who is also the state BN chairman said if need be SUPP had to overhaul its leadership to remain relevant to the very community which has founded it.
As change was inevitable for SUPP’s survival, Taib also called on the Chinese community to regroup itself and find a new way to address its needs in a multi-racial and multi religious setting like Sarawak.
By looking at the basic needs of the community, Taib also called on the Chinese to look at its relationship with the present BN government as well as its relationship with other communities in the state to ensure the prevailing peace and harmony will continue to remain intact.
However, the Chief Minister was happy that despite their political differences, the Chinese community had been able to stand solidly behind their various associations to defend their basic needs.